From a child’s first step until their teenage years, their feet and gait pattern are constantly changing. As a child starts to walk and grows, it is possible that they will either develop pain or parents may become concerned about how their child is walking. It is vitally important to identify and address children’s foot problems or walking issues early so that appropriate treatment is given, but early assessment is also important so that parents can be reassured if the issue they are noticing is normal and nothing to worry about.
Walkrite clinicians are experienced in the assessment and treatment of children’s foot and biomechanical problems and will always recommend an onward referral to the appropriate specialist if assessment or treatment is required that we can’t provide. We also work closely with Paediatric Orthopaedic Consultants, Physiotherapists and local children’s shoe fitters to ensure your child is provided with the most appropriate and best possible care. It is common for children and teenagers to experience joint and muscle pain, especially with sport. Often this is related to the changing shape of their body, continued need for the body to put its energy into growing and competing demands for energy from the body to participate in busy school and sports lives.
All our Paediatric patients undergo the same rigorous biomechanical assessment, video gait analysis and footwear assessment as our adult patients. We also assess their movement and walking development up to the age of 6 (when they reach motor neurological maturity) to ensure that they are developing properly. Treatment takes many forms including activity moderation, exercises, footwear changes and, sometimes, onward referral. Where foot orthoses are suggested, it is always done so to change function, reduce load and help improve walking patterns and pain. Foot orthoses do not change the structure of the foot or legs and are not intended to do so. Children wearing orthoses will be assessed every 6-12 months and, once they become pain-free or there is no further functional need for the orthoses, we will advise on reducing or ceasing their use.