Orthotic insoles are shoe inserts designed to provide support and cushioning to the feet. They are effective medical tools for providing relief for individuals experiencing foot and lower body pain. Children's feet are still changing and growing, thus, proper support and care can help to ensure healthy foot development.
What do orthotics do for the feet?
Orthotic insoles are designed to support the structures of the foot, correct foot and lower leg alignment, and redistribute pressure evenly across the foot so that it can work more efficiently. They can help alleviate foot pain and heel pain from conditions such as flat feet and plantar fasciitis. They can also help to reduce the chances of foot injuries by providing arch support, especially for those who are active and participate in sports.
Would my child benefit from orthotic insoles?
There are multiple reasons why your child may benefit from orthotics:
One of the most common reasons for children to use orthotic insoles is flat feet. Flat feet occur when the arches of the feet collapse and the entire sole comes into contact with the ground when standing or walking.
Overpronation is a biomechanical condition where the foot rolls too far inwards, stretching out the foot's ligaments, tendons, and joints. This leads to an excessive amount of pressure placed on the inside of the foot and ankle, which can lead to pain and discomfort.
Both flat feet and overpronation can be diagnosed by healthcare professionals, such as podiatrists, through an assessment of the child's feet and gait. After the consultation, they may recommend orthotic insoles or special shoes as a treatment option.
Some common symptoms that your child's feet may benefit from orthotics:
Foot and ankle pain
Pain and/or discomfort during certain activities
Excessive wear and tear on one side of their shoes
Frequent tripping or stumbling
What should I look for in an orthotic for kids?
When selecting kids orthotics, it is important to consider the child's specific foot condition and activity level. Some insoles are designed for more general use, while others are more activity-specific. Your child may not be used to them at first, however, with routine wear, they can be extremely beneficial for their feet's health.
Here are some features to look for when looking for an orthotic for kids:
Arch support - Having a supported arch is crucial for children's foot health because the arch acts as a cushioning mechanism, absorbing the shock of every step. Since a child's feet are still developing and taking shape, providing them with proper arch support is essential to promote healthy growth and ensure that they form a stable base for the rest of the foot.
Lateral and medial foot support - Having support on both sides of the foot limit excessive side-to-side movement during physical activity. Lateral support refers to support on the outer edge of the foot, while medial support refers to support present on the inner side of the foot. Both are required to distribute weight evenly across the foot.
Heel support - Orthotics with a heel cup further help to reduce impact and provide stabilization. Heel pain is a common occurrence and a common side effect of growing pains.
The right fit - Not all orthotics are made equal. Be sure to look for an orthotic that is made specifically for children and young feet.
Pairing a well-fitting shoe with orthotic insoles is also key. Ill-fitting footwear can cause a host of issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns. They can also interfere with normal foot growth and affect a child's balance. Take the time to find shoes that fit properly.
Some final thoughts
Orthotic insoles can be extremely beneficial for children who require additional support for their feet. Fitting them properly can reduce or, hopefully, eliminate any pain that prevents a child from engaging in the activities that they enjoy. Consult with a paediatric podiatrist to choose the best type of orthotics that will cater to the specific needs of our child.
Please comment below if you have any questions or would like to learn more about orthotics for children. You can also reach out to our team at docpods.com/au!