Children are not little adults. Their physiology is different—often requiring treatments and assessments that are different from those appropriate for adults. Children left to grow up with achy legs, easily fatiguing legs, poor foot and leg posture or growing pains will ultimately be affected psychologically. Often such children develop poor self-esteem due to an inability or lack of desire to participate in sporting activities.
Children typically inherit the physical characteristics of parents, grandparents and other family members. While they may inherit their parents’ good looks, structural imperfections such as excessively bowed legs or knock knees may also be inherited. These imperfections may then lead on to poor foot function, flat feet, poor posture or incorrect walking technique. If structural / biomechanical abnormalities are recognised at an early enough age, they may be grown out or manipulated out using treatments such as serial casting and/or prescription orthotics.
When babies are newly born, their legs are largely turned out as they are naturally bow legged, and their feet are curved into a banana shape. As these children mature and reach their developmental milestones, their legs and feet twist and turn out into a more normal shape. Some examples of normal developmental variances that may occur during this process are in-toes and out-toes, knock knees and bowed legs, crawling and walking. These variations are considered normal only if a developing child reaches and leaves each milestone at the correct time and in the correct order.
As they mature some children may develop overuse syndromes, commonly referred to as growing pains, and complain of achy or tired legs. The complaints typically occur at night and do not necessarily follow a particularly long day or strenuous activity. Alternatively, some children may be clumsy or want to be carried a lot.
Some children may suffer specific growing pains in the heels, known as Severs condition, or knees, referred to as Osgood-Schlatter condition. These pains are typically found in children exhibiting poor posture and biomechanics.
IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO WAIT FOR YOUR CHILDREN TO “GROW OUT OF IT” AS PRESCRIPTION ORTHOTIC TREATMENTS ARE EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE!