From the August Issue of OrthopedicNotes

Childhood foot problems can have both immediate and long-term effects. During growth, the normal development of the pelvis and the spine will suffer if there is a foot imbalance. A budding athlete’s skill level — even running at recess — can be significantly affected.1 Later on, foot problems from childhood can interfere with adolescent (or adult) spinal function, which can result in poor biomechanics and accelerated degenerative changes in the knees, hips, and spine. With a relatively quick screening of their younger patients, Chiropractors can identify those who need early intervention, and then provide proper custom-made orthotic support.

Early Development
During early development, and especially as we begin to walk, the lower extremity changes significantly. The legs undergo rotation, in order to allow the feet to align with the knees and hips for smooth gait. The arches slowly become more obvious and increase in height as our gait improves. Most problems arise when the feet and legs do not align properly (in-toeing or out-toeing), or when the main longitudinal arch does not develop fully.

Solution? — Orthotics for Kids
Children do not usually need custom orthotics until about the age of five years. If at that point a child is still not developing a normal arch, or if in-toeing persists, orthotics may be needed. This is particularly true when the child is involved in athletics and sports activities. In these cases, custom-made orthotic support for the arches can significantly improve gait and running performance.


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