Children’s orthotics Melbourne

Children’s orthotics, available at our Melbourne podiatry clinic, can be of great benefit to children’s feet and development. They work by restoring the foots natural arch and improving foot function. This improves alignment, stability and function of the lower leg. Orthotics prescribed by our Melbourne podiatrists can help treat common children’s foot problems such as growing pains, Sever’s disease, flat feet and more.

When children are young they are still developing muscles and core strength. If a child’s muscles aren’t strong enough they will fatigue more easily. This is often the case with children who complain of tired legs and growing pains as their muscles simply can’t cope with the increased load from walking or activity.

Children’s orthotic devices when prescribed accurately by a podiatrist improve your child’s alignment and make their body more stable. This can help take strain off important lower leg muscles and joints. The result is less muscles fatigue and improved joint alignment, allowing your child to perform at their best.

Children's orthotics Melbourne

Our approach to children’s feet & orthotics at our Melbourne clinic

Children's orthotics Melbourne

At our Melbourne podiatry clinic we adopt a thorough yet conservative approach when it comes to children’s feet and orthotics. We don’t like prescribing orthotic devices for children under age 3 (unless there are major symptoms that we believe orthotics can help treat). The main reason for this is we believe in barefoot walking, especially in those first few years after a child takes their first steps. The importance of barefoot walking should not be underestimated. It helps build proprioception, balance and strength in the small intrinsic foot muscles, which is vital during the first few years of walking.

The other reason why we don’t like prescribing these devices in children too young is that during the first few years of walking a child’s gait is very different to an adults. Toddlers walk with a wide base of gait and a stomping style. Their feet and arches will generally be flat as they haven’t had time to develop yet. This is all part of natural development. A child’s gait doesn’t develop into an adult like gait (heel to toe propulsion) until age 3-4. The same goes for the arches of children’s feet. Hence this is the ideal age when our Melbourne podiatrists will start prescribing orthotics in children as this is when they are most effective and work at their best.

It is vitally important that if you have any concerns regarding your child’s feet or gait that you get them seen to by one our podiatrists at our Melbourne podiatry clinic. No age is too young and the saddest words our podiatrists often hear from parents are; “I wish I had brought my child in earlier for podiatry treatment”.

Our criteria for orthotic prescription in children

Our podiatrists are experts in children’s feet and gait. Orthotics are only prescribed for children at our Melbourne clinic following thorough diagnosis and computer gait analysis. Our podiatrists do not over prescribe children’s orthotic devices. We follow a strict criteria and we will only prescribe orthotics for children in the following circumstances:

  • To reduce symptoms (lower leg or foot) when poor foot mechanics are a causative factor.
  • To improve gait, alignment and function. For e.g. to help in cases of tripping, clumsiness or poor balance, most often the result of low muscle tone.
  • To protect foot structure (bones and joints) from harmful biomechanical forces and future changes e.g. bunions, arthritic changes, toe deformities.
Children's orthotics Melbourne

How long are children’s orthotics prescribed for?

Children’s orthotics are prescribed by our podiatrists either short term or long term depending on your child’s feet, gait and development. After orthotic devices are issued your child is reviewed every 3 – 6 months by a podiatrist to keep an eye on growth, development and monitor any foot changes.

Short term

Our primary aim is to only use orthotics short term in children if possible. Our podiatrists put great emphasis on strengthening and stretching the lower leg and foot. These exercises are prescribed along the journey to make sure your child’s feet and lower legs are in the best possible condition and alignment when they fully mature. At our Melbourne podiatry clinic we will remove orthotic devices if we feel your child’s gait is strong enough to cope without them. This is provided that our podiatrists believe that removal of the devices won’t be detrimental to your child’s foot structure and health.

Long term

Unfortunately there will always be some children who require orthotics long term. This is mostly due to genetic factors and these children will always have feet that excessively pronate or function poorly. These children struggle to cope without orthotic therapy and are more prone to symptoms if orthotic devices are removed. These children benefit enormously from wearing orthotics, as they help improve foot function and protect foot structure.  They also find that their feet are most comfortable when wearing them.

Children's orthotics Melbourne

Children’s orthotics available at our Melbourne clinic

At our Melbourne foot clinic we have many different children’s orthotic styles (including prefabricated, non-cast and custom-made) to suit all ages, all feet and all budgets. Our podiatrists will recommend what they feel is best for your child but the ultimate decision is based on your child’s individual needs. Our children’s orthotic range includes:

Children's Orthotics Melbourne GeckosGeckos are brightly coloured soft EVA prefabricated orthotics great for small feet and children aged 2 to 7 years old. Geckos provide good rearfoot to midfoot pronation control and increased stability for hypermobile feet.
Children's Orthotics Melbourne FormthoticsFormthotics are heat mouldable dual density foam prefabricated orthotics. They are great for children aged 7 and over. These orthotics give great midfoot support as they can be moulded to fit each individual arch. Unfortunately these orthotics will only provide a limited amount of rearfoot support.
Children's orthotics Melbourne JoeysJoeys are non-cast orthotics made by Footwork, the same orthotic lab who makes our custom orthotics. They have the same quality and look to that of a custom device except they are matched according to a patients foot tracing and size. They come in only four models each with their own unique correction. They make a great cost alternative to custom orthotics but unfortunately they will not suit all children’s foot types and arch shapes.
Custom children's orthotics MelbourneCustom orthotics are the best and most accurate orthotics you can get for your child’s feet. They are produced from a tailor made prescription based on your child’s biomechanics. They are custom designed to suit your child’s feet and arch so they ensure comfort. Correction can be a­­­­pplied in any amount, to any area of the foot and to suit any foot type. With custom orthotics almost anything is possible.

Children’s custom orthotics are prescribed by our podiatrists at our Melbourne clinic following computer gait analysis and 3D digital foot casts taken with the iQube scanner. The custom foot devices are made at Footwork one of the leading orthotic labs in Australia, ensuring quality and precision.

Children's orthotics Melbourne gait platesGait plates are specifically designed custom children’s orthotics most commonly prescribed by our Melbourne podiatrists to treat an intoeing gait in children. This type of device supports the arch of the foot like a traditional orthotic but has an extended lateral (outside) section that extends underneath the ball of the foot up towards the fifth the toe.

Gait plates work by proprioception and encourages the child to walk more out-toed. When walking with an intoeing gait the child will feel the rigid extended section of the device making it harder and somewhat uncomfortable to push off. Yet when walking with the feet more turned out the orthotic device feels more comfortable and it is easier for the foot to push off during propulsion.

It is important to remember that gait plates wont correct intoeing, they merely help change the aesthetics of intoeing. Strengthening and postural exercises will ultimately help correct intoeing and these are prescribed by our podiatrists along the journey. However when used prescribed correctly gait plates can still be useful in the treatment of intoeing. When worn in shoes, gait plate orthotics can help improve a child’s angle of gait and this can help minimise tripping and increase a child’s self confidence.

Children's orthotics Melbourne

Why choose Melbourne Podiatrists for children’s orthotics

There are many reasons why we are the preferred provider for children’s orthotics in Melbourne.

  • Our friendly Melbourne podiatrists have experience in prescribing orthotics for children of all ages.
  • Our children’s podiatrists have a thorough understanding of a children’s growth and development and treatment of common children’s foot problems.
  • Children’s custom orthotic devices are only prescribed following a strict criteria and custom orthotic consultation process.
  • We use the latest technology like computer gait analysis and the iQube laser scanner for 3D digital foot casts. This helps to produce accurate custom orthotics for children’s feet.
  • We don’t just prescribe orthotic devices for children. We also work at strengthening and stretching important lower leg and foot muscles. This helps your child’s body to be strong, stable and perform at its optimum.
  • We understand that a growing child may only get 1.5-2 years out of a pair of custom orthotics. That’s why our children’s custom devices are discounted compared to our adult devices.
  • Children’s custom orthotics come with our orthotic comfort guarantee. We are not aware of any other podiatry clinic in Melbourne that offers the same guarantee on their custom devices so why choose anyone else.

FAQ children’s orthotics

Whilst it is likely it is always best to get a podiatrists opinion first. Not all children with flat feet will require orthotics. It ultimately depends on how the child’s feet are functioning and if they are likely to cause future problems if not supported.
We find that orthotics in children last for 1.5 – 2 years or two shoe sizes depending on growth. Orthotics will last longer once feet stop growing. Female’s feet fully mature and stop growing approximately around the age of 14-16 whilst male’s feet will fully mature around age 16-18.
We have prescribed custom children’s orthotics for over 20 years, including semi-flexible rigid orthotics and if they are prescribed right they should be 100% comfortable. Uncomfortable custom orthotics are almost always caused by an inaccurate prescription by the podiatrist.
We stock wide range of children’s orthotics including prefabricated at our Melbourne clinic, but unfortunately we don’t sell ‘off the shelf’. Children’s orthotics are only prescribed following consultation and assessment with one of our podiatrists.
Children's orthotics Melbourne
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Does your child need orthotics?

Our team of children’s podiatrists at our Melbourne foot clinic can assess your child to see if their feet would benefit from orthotics. Our podiatrists use computer gait analysis to assess children’s gait and are experienced in prescribing orthotic devices for children of all ages.

For accurate and comfortable children’s orthotics book a consultation with one of our friendly and professional podiatrists today.