Understanding Pediatric Orthotics

In this branch of medicine, orthotics deals with the use and manufacturing of orthotic devices that are used to correct the patient’s physical function and posture. Orthotics medicine serves to minimize pain, maximize mobility and function, and prevent the progression of most physical abnormalities. In the branch of pediatric orthotics it is any type of device like a brace or heel or foot insert that will help to assist a child’s limb. These devices are made to correct imperfections that affect the child’s lower legs, feet, or knees. There are many different conditions that can affect a child’s feet that may make it necessary to use pediatric orthotics. These can include multiple sclerosis, flat feet, or partial paralysis.

Many times if a child has plantar fasciitis pediatric orthotics are used to help support their foot. Plantar fasciitis is a medical condition that creates pain in their feet, usually their heels. When the heel insert is put inside their shoe it helps reduce any inflammation that often occurs with this medical condition and provides extra cushioning. The inserts can also help to lessen heel pain, which can be reoccurring. This type of device is called plantar fasciitis orthotics. Some children with this medical condition also require more arch support and additional shock absorption when standing or walking.

When a child suffers from deformities that affect their legs they often will need the use of orthotics. These devices can help to strengthen their muscles and help them to have correct posture while walking and standing. This form of leg brace that has special reinforcements created to help keep the bones and joints aligned properly. One medical condition that can affect both children and adults is called rheumatoid arthritis, which is considered a chronic disease. It is referred to as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, when it affects adolescents and children. Many times the inflammation and pain associated with this disease may cause walking difficulties. This is due to immobile and stiff joints.

For children who require a special constructed fitted shoe orthotic therapy is often used. To construct the device the pediatrician will make a mold of the child’s foot, which can help when creating custom orthotics to accommodate each child’s unique needs. If it is a sports-related injury using pediatric orthotics during the process of healing may speed it up. Using them will often work to ease any pressure on the area that was injured. Sports-related injuries treated using these medical devices include fractures, sprains, and strains. In some instances a pediatrician will need to write a prescription for devices that are specially made or certain inserts for their shoe.

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