We know, parents: as if you don’t have enough to worry about when it comes to your kids. But making sure your children’s feet are healthy is important. We’ll tell you the why and the how.
The Why: Foot problems that develop in childhood can seriously affect your child’s health now and in the future. Picture the body as a building: if the foundation is unbalanced or “off,” everything built on top of it may suffer–in your child’s body, this includes the pelvis and spine, leading to biomechanical dysfunction. Later in life, foot problems from childhood can can accelerate degenerative changes in the knees, hips, and spine. They may also put your child at greater risk for injury during sports or play.
The How: Your Chiropractor can do a quick assessment of your child’s feet to make sure they are developing as they should, and determine what treatment is necessary if not. He or she may watch your child walk, examine their shoe wear pattern, assess knee to foot alignment (is there a straight line down from the mid-point of each kneecap to the foot?), or look at the Achilles tendon and medial arches. Other signs that trouble is afoot include recurring subluxations.
At age 5 or above, your doctor may recommend custom-made flexible orthotics, like Foot Levelers’ Ultra Young Soles. Sensible, supportive footwear is always recommended, at any age.
Next time you visit your DC, bring your wee one along. Addressing pedal imbalances early can help your child now and well on into the future.