This week we talk to Jason Agosta Podiatry and find out more about the use of orthotics for children.
Orthoses should be used conservatively for children. Many children do not have a history of problems that require a change in their alignment of the lower limb or foot, and many children are naturally mobile with their feet. Rapid growth contributes to poor muscular control of motion, and it is important to allow natural strengthening to occur with time.
The rapid growth of bones and increased weight causes the muscles to be lengthened and become relatively poor in strength for power and good muscular control. With poor power and control there is often greater motion but this improves significantly. This is an easy time for children to be injured from increased loading from activities.
For all young children, bare feet and the wearing of thin flexible footwear is a necessity for maintaining motion and increased sensory input to the foot and lower limb which is then intern is a stimulus for increased muscular activity. If a child has extremely poor posture of the lower limbs or feet, due to asymmetry of alignment or excessive mobility, orthoses may be used to support the foot and lower limbs.
Fun Fact: An orthosis is the correct term for an externally applied device that is designed and fitted to the body to achieve one or more of the following goals:
- Control biomechanical alignment
- Correct or accommodate deformity
- Protect and support an injury
- Assist rehabilitation
- Reduce pain
- Increase mobility
- Increase independence