What Is Orthotics? Orthotics is actually a customized foot support and may come in form of splints, inserts or shoe insoles. Also, they are used to be able to restore natural foot function. When it comes to children, this can be used as a way to treat biomechanical foot issues. Biomechanics is actually the study of the body’s movement when you are walking, playing sport or running. The over or under pronation are the common biomechanical foot issues. Pronation is the foot’s normal movement that absorbs the impact when you are walking or running. Over pronation however is when the foot rolls or moves inward more than the normal 15 percent and could cause problems with your foot and ankle stabilizing body and inefficiently absorbing shock. But with under pronation, the inward movement is less than normal 15 percent and as a result, the force of impact is more focused on the outer side of the foot. Orthotics can also be used as part of a treatment plan to be able to promote joint and muscle stability for those who were born with low muscle tone or those who are born prematurely. You can also have your orthotics either custom-made or ready-made. Being able to choose the right orthotics for children depend on the foot issue or underlying muscle that the child is suffering from.
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For children under the age of 7, they usually have flat feet but this will outgrow naturally. There are experts saying that it is not in the best interest of the child to alter foot alignment if they’re younger than 7 years old if they only have a minor biomechanical disorder. If the child is older than 7 years for example, the physician can use them in order to correct misalignments that are from over or under pronation. To be able to have the gait and feet of the child assessed, you may bring them to a podiatrist and they’ll recommend the best orthotics to be used.
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There are some instances wherein orthotics should be used for children who are as young as 2 years old. Some of these situations include children with motor disorders like developmental disabilities, cerebral palsy, issues with muscle tone and so forth. These children are going to benefit from the use of orthotics and in these situations, it is highly recommended if the orthotics is customized. The podiatrist is going to perform a biomechanical assessment of their feet and gait and the acquired info will let them make custom orthotics that will help the child with special needs. It can help to properly align the child’s legs and feet throughout their growth and development.