A Podiatrist Can Identify And Treat Gait Problems In Your Child

Posted on: 28 July 2022


If you're concerned about the way your child walks, or if your child complains of foot pain regularly, consider seeing a podiatrist—such as Ankle & Foot Specialists of Puget Sound—for a gait analysis. A podiatrist can evaluate the way your child walks and stands using various means, such as video and computerized analysis.

The information lets the doctor know how your child bears weight on their feet, if their feet roll in or out when they walk, if their arches are formed correctly, and if their feet, knees, and hips are in proper alignment. Here are signs you may need to take your child to a podiatrist and what the doctor might do to treat a gait abnormality.

Signs Your Child Might Need To See A Podiatrist

One way to discover a foot roll is to examine the shoes your child wears the most often. If your child's favorite tennis shoes have heels that are worn down on the outside or inside while the other sides are still in good shape, that could indicate a gait problem where your child bears most of their weight on one side of their feet.

If your child seems to have an odd walk, they may need an evaluation. It's possible to have one leg that's a little shorter than the other one. That can cause an uneven gait, and it can lead to problems with hip and back pain since the entire lower body is thrown out of alignment.

If your child complains of foot, ankle, leg, knee, hip, or back pain, you may want a podiatrist to check your child to discover the reason why and to find a treatment that helps. Also, if your child seems clumsy or is falling behind other kids in school when it comes to sports, running, and other physical activities, a gait analysis might be warranted to make sure your child has proper balance and bears their weight properly.

Treatments A Podiatrist Might Provide

Gait and foot problems can sometimes be corrected with orthotics and proper footwear. You might buy orthotics and already-made supportive shoes, but if necessary, your podiatrist can have custom shoe inserts or custom shoes made that are an exact fit for your child and treat their specific problem.

A custom shoe might be needed for a leg that's a little shorter than the other one so the legs are even. Inserts can provide arch support, padding, and support for foot rolling. Some custom orthotics are stiff rather than soft and flexible, so they can offer stronger support when it's needed.

Some foot conditions may just require watchful waiting, especially if your child is still very young and developing. However, by the time your child is in school, it should be more obvious they have foot problems, and getting the right treatment could reduce the amount of pain your child has due to strain from an abnormal gait.