Orthotics Can Help Kids Growing Pains

Contrary to what some might think, orthotics are not just for grandparents. They are useful devices for people with diabetes and arthritis and in supporting foot wound care; but orthotics aren’t just for older people. Orthotics can help people of all ages – even children!

As children grow, many will experience minor leg aches and some soreness. This is considered “growing pains;” a normal part of childhood and often times does not seem to bother the child, parent or physician.  However, some children experience true pain.  Often after an activity filled day, a child may experience sharp, nagging and/or deep pain in the shins, calves and/or thighs.  This pain often presents itself at night. Children will wake up from their sleep or have difficulty falling asleep and cry because of the pain. Parents are then left to console their child with leg rubs, hot packs and pain medication.  By morning, the child often feels better, but in some cases, they feel stiff until they get moving.

A thorough examination provided by a Canadian Certified Pedorthist or Registered Chiropodist is required to best address the needs of the child. Foot orthotics are considered especially when there is a biomechanical issue, such as overpronation.  The excessive inward rotation of the foot causes increased stress on the muscles of the leg, which in turn fatigues the growing muscles and results in pain, often even at rest. A thin, half-length orthotic, which can be worn in most footwear, would help stabilize the foot, improve alignment and alleviate the pain.

A stretching regimen or Registered Massage Therapy is also recommended to encourage gentle lengthening of the muscles and surrounding tissues.

Written by: Vanessa Raffa-Derita, BioPed London East