Adults are not the only people who need orthotics; some children may need them too.
It’s important to pay attention to how your child’s feet develop and change as they grow. Unfortunately, children’s foot health is often neglected, leading to serious problems.
Orthotics can help correct any issues your child may be experiencing. They are externally applied devices inserted into shoes to correct faulty foot mechanics.
Why a Child Would Need Orthotics
Typically, orthotics are not necessary for children until they are six years old. However, orthotics may become necessary if they don’t have a normal arch or if their in-toeing continues. This is particularly true if your child is involved in sports activities.
Custom kids orthotics will support your child’s arches and improve their gaits and running significantly. However, these orthotics will need regular replacement as your child grows. You may also need to find orthotic shoes for kids.
How long does it take for orthotics to work? Well, the longer they stay on your child’s feet, the better.
Benefits of Orthotics for Kids
The main goal of kids orthotics is to provide your kids support and stability as they go about their lives. It will help them:
Be More Inclined To Play
Sometimes, we tend to label children who refuse to play or do some activities as “lazy.” What we might not know is that maybe they have foot conditions that are yet to be diagnosed. Children with foot pain may not want to play. They miss out on making friends and may develop unhealthy habits.
The correct orthotic support may help relieve some of their pain and make them more excited to play.
Avoid Reconstructive or Corrective Surgery
Orthotics are conservative treatment options that help kids with foot problems avoid reconstructive or corrective surgeries later in life, along with careful monitoring and follow-up treatments.
Bunions are foot problems that develop when you put too much stress on your big toe, resulting in redness and swelling. Children engaged in sports may develop bunions much sooner and complain about foot pain after removing their shoes.
Wearing tight shoes will only worsen the condition; visit a specialist podiatrist who can fix this problem quickly with kids orthotics.
Leaving foot problems untreated can lead to problems later in life. Orthotics for kids as young as five help them overcome foot problems and get them on the right track to healthy foot growth.
In-toeing, or “pigeon toe,” is a common problem affecting many children, causing them to walk with their toes pointing inward. This condition can lead to severe foot pain; fortunately, a unique orthotic called a gait plate orthotic can help correct this issue.
Out-toeing is the opposite of in-toeing, where the toes point outwards. It needs immediate treatment to prevent it from worsening; not addressing it will lead to flat feet. It’s also easy to treat with the help of a foot and ankle specialist who can recommend the best orthotics for your child.
Cure Flat Feet
Flat feet occur when a damaged metatarsal arch collapses. It’s a distressing experience, especially for children when they grow. It causes pain in the lower back, knees, hips, and bunion development. A qualified foot and ankle physician can help find the best orthotic devices to treat flat-footedness.
How To Know If Your Child Needs Orthotics
Here are some things you should try to observe in your child to see if you need to take them in for orthotics:
Check their knee-to-foot alignment.
You can do this by looking at your child’s lower legs from the front. In our mind, draw a straight line from the midpoint of each kneecap down to the foot. The imaginary line you made should touch the foot above the first two toes. Take your child to a podiatrist if you notice their knees pointing out, pointing in, or if their knees have a value angulation.
Check for recurring misalignments.
Recurrent misalignments indicate instability in a child’s spine. Correcting these misalignments in their spine and pelvis will help improve their long-term health.
Observe their gait.
You can distinguish several gait abnormalities by studying examples of normal and relaxed paces. Compare them to the alignment of your child’s foot with their lower leg as they walk.
Check their inner arches.
Your child might not be developing normal arches if you can’t insert your finger under them.
Check if their Achilles tendon is straight.
Your child might have an unstable calcaneus if their heel cord is bowing inward. Your child’s feet may overpronate if their Achilles tendon is not aligned with their heel. This condition will also cause knee, hip, and spine problems over time.
Make them perform a “toe-raise.”
Your child’s inner arch might not have developed if your child can’t raise their toes. Having them stand up on their toes tenses the plantar fascia, creating a temporary arch for patients with flexible flat feet. On the other hand, your child might have flat, rigid feet if their foot remains flat or becomes convex while in a toe-raise.
Look at their shoes.
Take some time to examine the wear pattern on your child’s shoes. Check if they have asymmetrical wear patterns at the heels or the upper portions of their shoes. Asymmetrical wear patterns suggest biomechanical imbalances in your child, which can lead to muscular imbalances and injuries. Structural imbalances may also result in degenerative changes in their body later in life.
Ask if they feel any foot pain.
Pain is another indicator your child needs orthotics. It can cause your child to avoid participating in activities or playtime or make them want to be carried all the time.
Foot orthotics aren’t just for adults; some children need them too. This is especially true if they have foot issues causing them to avoid activities or make them trip or fall more than their peers. Parents should check and see if their child needs kids orthotics that will help them avoid corrective or reconstructive surgeries for their foot problems or correct said foot problems altogether.
Get custom orthotics for kids at Advanced Chiropractors Group.
Our partner chiropractors in Vail, CO, can help provide the care and attention their foot problems need. They can also provide pediatric orthotics for pronation and other chiropractic services to help relieve their pain and encourage healthy spinal growth. Call us today and we’ll connect them to you as soon as possible.