Once your child has developed a normal walking pattern (usually by age 5), their feet can be susceptible to a variety of foot & lower limb conditions that can impact their skeletal alignment and can cause discomfort.
During a child's growth & development the bones are still forming. If there is a dysfunction in the way they walk, left untreated it may lay the foundation for a lifetime of foot & lower limb problems.
WHAT ARE GROWING PAINS?
Growing pains are referred pain from the sub-talar joint into the lower leg, typically at night once the day's activities have subsided. The cause of the referred pain is chronic or acute subluxation (dislocation) of the subtalar joint created by excessive pronation.
By ages 6-7 arches start to develop. In some children the foot remains flat and the ankle joint & subtalar joint rolls inward causing excessive pronation and is quite common.
Excessive pronation causes the child to develop an unnatural gait pattern. As a result, conditions such as Sever's disease and/or Osgood Schlatters Disease may occur.
HOW CAN ORTHOTICS HELP MY CHILD?
Custom made orthotics are frequently prescribed for children to address their foot & lower limb conditions. Custom orthotics work to improve the skeletal alignment of the lower limb by limiting the amount of distortion in the foot. When the foot rolls inward (pronates) or rolls outward (supinates) it puts an increased amount of force on other areas of the foot and can lead to a great deal of discomfort. The orthotic manipulates the child's foot into its proper alignment so that the foot and lower limb will function normally throughout their growth & development and into adulthood.
THE GOALS OF ORTHOTIC THERAPY FOR CHILDREN ARE PREVENTION & PAIN MANAGEMENT
The feet & lower limbs go through a tremendous amount of change during a child's development. Since bones don't fully fuse until mid-teenage years, it is important to correct any skeletal alignment abnormalities that can occur during infancy in order to lay the proper ground work and foundation when they reach adulthood.
Orthotics also help manage many-pre existing pediatric conditions to allow children's feet to function normally and/or manage and accommodate their condition.
Most orthotics for children are made from a subortholene material which is different than the polypro material for adults. We use it because of its flexible characteristics as the childs feet are still in a period of constant growth so this special material allows for growth to continue while manipulating the foot in its proper position.