Young children’s bones are very soft thus making them more prone to being affected by irregular pressure. It is vital to look after children’s feet as most of the problems that arise in adulthood have begun as children. Children’s feet are not the same as adults. The younger a child is when the feet are assessed and diagnosed, the easier it will be to treat the problem. Some of the issues young children may suffer from are:
Treatment Choices Available
There are many treatment choices available for the lower limbs by podiatrists. The type of treatment needed will be determined by the condition or the injury you are suffering from. Also treatments are set by looking at the pacific person being treated. No two people are the same therefore the treatment offered will be tailored to the individual. We do our level best in providing you with the information you will need and a range of treatment choices right for you so that you may select a treatment you are most happy with. We will discuss below some of the treatments provided at Dr Foots Podiatry.
Orthotics are placed in the shoe usually to correct walking defects, also known as gait. At Dr Foot Podiatry we prescribe two types of orthotics, there are casted, (also known as bespoke), and non-casted orthotics (sometimes referred to as ‘off the shelf’).
Dr Foot Podiatry can provide a pair of casted orthotics if necessary. Casted orthotics are bespoke; this means that they are made to measure. Casted orthotics are made by taking an impression of the foot in its corrected position. Once an impression of the foot has been made a prescription form is then filled out detailing the exact requirements, before being sent away for casting. The prescription for orthotics is formulated using the information gained from a biomechanical assessment and gait analysis. A biomechanical assessment and gait analysis must be performed prior to casted orthotics being prescribed.
A number of materials can be used in the making of orthotics; the material chosen by the podiatrist will depend on a variety of factors, such as activity level, weight, and pathology. Also prescriptions with heat mouldable thermoplastics are generally used for splints and braces. These are usually used to rectify soft tissue positioning problems, for example children suffering from rotating hip problems or juvenile bunions.
Non casted orthotics
Non casted orthotics, otherwise known as ‘off the shelf’ orthotics, are insoles that are ready made. Non casted insoles are much cheaper than bespoke orthotics, and for some people they may be all that is necessary to alleviate symptoms, however, they are not suitable for all foot pathologies. Non casted orthotics can also provide a good starting point for which to ‘try out’ orthotics, before purchasing the more expensive bespoke variety.
Shoe Padding and Strapping
An alternative to orthotics are strapping and in-shoe padding. In-shoe padding can be used together with strapping or by itself in shoes to correct minor issues to the foot or lower limb. Strapping can be used to change the positioning of the foot or lower limb or it can be used to shield an area that has been injured or is painful.
At Dr Foot Podiatry we know how hard it can be to get children to carry out stretching and strengthening exercises. That is why we try to make our exercises as fun as possible. At least there won’t be any reason not to do it then. Stretching and strengthening exercises are very important and very effective when wanting to treat the muscles in the feet and legs. Many problems that require orthotics are due to weak muscles and doing exercises can help greatly.
Lots of children suffer from out toeing, in toeing and irregular gait patterns. These can occur in children suffering from neurological disorders, developmental delays or movement disorders. We at Dr Foot Podiatry try to get to the root cause of the problem and not just treat it with orthotics. After a proper gait assessment we go ahead and make a treatment plan involving you along every step of the way.
The first steps your child takes will always be a precious memorable time. All children will begin to walk when they are ready as all children grow and develop at their own pace. Most children will begin to take their first steps around nine and twelve months. Some children take longer. It is suggested to get your child assessed if they are not walking by 15 to 16 months old. Children usually place their feet wide and arms up high to help them balance when trying to walk. It is at this time when children may develop an irregular walking pattern. If you notice this then get a podiatrist to assess your child’s feet. Issues are easily managed when they begin, if left to later on in life then there could be long lasting damage.
When children start to walk, it is recommended that they are kept barefoot for the first 6 to 8 weeks. This lets the sensory system develop which is important as it helps with balance and movement coordination. However children should wear shoes to protect their feet when they go outside.
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