We all experience pain – adults and children alike. Unlike adults, children have more trouble articulating how pain is affecting them, which can make it more difficult to treat. Problems such as flat feet and over-pronation can affect a child in more areas than just pain – it can also greatly affect their confidence and ability to interact with other kids through play. Here are 4 ways orthotic insoles (such as ones from specialist companies like Footlogics) can benefit your child.
If you have a child with flat feet, you may be assailed with well-meaning friends and family who want to tell you that your child’s feet are in desperate need of custom-made corrective orthotics. However, all small children have flat feet with the arches only developing by age 4 or 5. If at age 8 your child’s arch does not appear to have developed, they may require orthotics to correct their gait, but only if they are experiencing pain. Low or flat arches are associated with rolling inward of the ankles (over-pronation), which can result in pain in the heels and knees, as well as pain in the lower back and shoulders. Children seldom need custom-made, expensive orthotics and gait can easily be corrected with generic medical-grade orthotics.
Excess pronation can occur independent of flat feet or low arches. If your child is experiencing pain in the ankle, lower back or through to the knee, particularly when running, excess pronation may be the cause. Orthotics benefit children by correcting an abnormal gait pattern caused by the over-pronation. Pain from over-pronation may not arise until the child gets older, and often results in knee pain or heel pain first. Children who over-pronate may also experience more severe growing pains than other children.
By treating pain and correcting abnormal gait with orthotics, children will find that they are able to stand up straight and tall without pain and be able to play and run as long as they wish with other children. The freedom of not having to stay on the bench while other children play can improve their confidence as they are able to socialise more with their peers.
In addition to improved confidence, children who use orthotics and are free of pain and have unrestricted movement will be able to take on new challenges such as climbing, running and playing competitive sports. Without pain or discomfort to slow them down, your child may be able to try out new skills and not have to worry about falling behind their peers.
Orthotic insoles offer a wide range of benefits for children and all parents should consider their child’s pain as a temporary, not permanent, setback. By using orthotic insoles to treat pain and correct abnormal gait, you could essentially be giving your child a new lease on life. Your child will thank you for allowing them to play harder and more frequently with their friends.