Could My Child Benefit from Orthotics?
Updated: May 20
by Erica Searfoss, PT, DPT
Does your child have flat feet? Is your child unstable when he/she walks? Does your child walk on their toes? If your answer is yes to one or more of these questions, your child may benefit from orthotic intervention.
As physical therapists, we can size your child for off-the-shelf orthotics that may improve your child’s postural alignment, stability, and walking pattern. Below are some signs that your child may benefit from off-the-shelf orthotics.
If your child has mild to moderate pronation (flat feet with reduced medial arch), he/she may benefit from shoe inserts for additional arch support and heel stabilization.
If your child stands and walks with decreased stability and/or has strong pronation, a supra malleolar orthotics (SMO-orthotics that go just above the ankle), may be beneficial. SMO’s provide improved foot alignment, proprioceptive input, and support with heel stabilization.
If your child demonstrates excess plantar flexion with hyperextension (toe walking), an AFO (ankle-foot orthotics that sit above the ankle and below the knee) could aid in blocking toe walking.
It is important to note that off-the-shelf orthotics are for children that have a fully correctable foot position through manual assistance. Customized orthotics and bracing would be the best route if your child displays the following: inability to manual correct foot/ankle position, high muscle tone, or muscle contractures. In this case, your physical therapist can refer and collaborate with an orthotist to find the best appropriate bracing and support best suited for your child.
Talk to your physical therapists at Skills on the Hill for further assistance and more information! We look forward to helping you.