If your child displays a flat foot or excess pronation (fallen arches and rolling inward of the ankle joint), speaks of aches and pains in their heels or knees, or is experiencing normal growing pains – orthotics may help.
It is important to make note that all small children have flat feet. It is not until approximately the age of 4 or 5 that you see their arches starting to develop. By ages 7 to 8 a normal arch should be visible.
It is very common in many children that the foot remains flat, or only a very low arch is showing. Arch height is not the main concern in young children. What really is a concern is if children display excess pronation or over-pronation.
Over-pronation may cause a child to develop an abnormal gait pattern. At a young age these children have foot complaints, but later on they are likely to develop conditions such as Children’s Heel Pain (Sever’s Disease), Children’s Knee pain (Osgood-Schlatters disease), general foot pain and ankle pain and/or aching legs. Growing pains (which all children will experience) are often more severe in children with over-pronating feet, than in children with “normal” feet.
Osgood Schlatters is pain around the front of the knee. It commonly occurs in children from the ages of 10 to 15. When the tendon that runs from the patella (knee cap) to the tibial tuberosity (bump on the front of the shin bone just below the knee cap) pulls excessively. This causes the growth plate located at the tibial tuberosity to become aggravated and inflamed leading to pain and discomfort. Over-pronation causes the knee to drop inward, thereby increasing the pull of the patella tendon on the tibial tuberosity.
Sever’s Disease is a similar condition to Osgood Schlatters in that it also relates to excessive pulling on a growth plate. This condition occurs when the Achilles tendon pulls too much at its insertion at the back of the heel causing inflammation of the calcaneal apophysis (growth plate). Over-pronation contributes to this common complaint and orthotics may help to alleviate both conditions.
Contact our office – Our foot specialists can assess whether orthotics can help your child.