Orthotics is custom-made foot supports and can be in the form of shoe insoles or inserts, or splints. They are used to restore your natural foot function. In children, orthotics can be used to treat biomechanical foot issues. Biomechanics is the study that studies your body’s movement when you run, walk, or play sport. The most common biomechanical foot issues are under or over pronation. Pronation is the normal movement your foot makes to absorb the impact from running or walking. Over pronation is when your foot moves or rolls inward more than the normal fifteen percent and can cause problems with your ankle and foot stabilizing body and not absorbing shock efficiently. With under pronation the inward movement is less than the normal fifteen percent so the force of impact is concentrated on the outer side of your foot.
Orthotics may also be used as part of the treatment plan to promote muscle and joint stability for those born with low muscle tone or born prematurely. You can get these ready-made or custom-made. Choosing the right orthotics for a child will depend on the underlying muscle or foot issue that the child suffers from The orthotics are usually worn all day inside your shoes.
Children under the age of seven usually have flat fee but will outgrow naturally. Some specialists feel it is not in the best interest of the child to alter their foot alignment if they are younger that seven years old if they have a biomechanical disorder that is minor. If the child is older than seven the physician may use them to correct any misalignments that are from under or over pronation. To have the child’s gait and feet assessed you can take them to a podiatrist and hey will recommend the correct orthotics if they are needed.
In some situations, it is necessary to use orthotics for children as young as two years of age. Some of these situations include children with motor disorders such as cerebral palsy, developmental disabilities, and issues with muscle tone. These children will benefit from using orthotics. In these situations the orthotics are custom made. The podiatrist will do a biomechanical assessment of their gait and feet. This information will enable specialists to make the custom orthotics that will help the child with their particular needs. Using them can help to the proper alignment of the child’s fee and legs during their development and growth.
If there is no underlying motor or developmental problems using orthotics that are ready-made may provide sufficient relief from under or over pronations in children older than seven years of age. As a child grows so does the anatomy and size of the child’s feet changes so it is necessary to have a yearly assessment.