Call 020 8348 5553 to make an appointment
Some of the above conditions are normal in children and do not need any medical intervention. However, sometimes a condition is not part of normal development. If your child has persistent foot pain, tends to trip or fall more than other children or you have concerns that their foot has a deformity, then a specialist biomechanical examination can give an early diagnosis and treatment plan. Your child may be assessed for over-pronation, that is the rolling inward of the ankles and associated low or flat arch. If your child over-pronates they may develop an abnormal gait pattern which could progress into such conditions as heel pain (Sever’s Disease), children’s knee pain (Osgood-Schlatters disease) or other foot aches and pains. If appropriate a bespoke orthotic could be prescribed that can help alleviate pain that these conditions might cause. The orthotics provided are a custom-made insole that fit the individual characteristics of your child’s foot.
A biomechanical assessment for children is a quick and painless procedure. Your child may feel a stretch on assessment and if appropriate a cast may be taken of your child’s foot during that assessment from which the bespoke orthotic is made. Any medical procedure, even a painless one, can make a child or adult feel anxious. Rachel is a gentle, caring and patient practitioner, has children of her own and has seen many children for biomechanical assessments and other treatments.
If your child is coming to see Rachel for a biomechanical assessment dress them in loose comfortable clothing and bring their old shoes if possible as well as any old orthotics they may have. These old shoes are useful to see how your child wears their shoes and how their shoes have worn. A full history of your child’s condition will be taken during the appointment which lasts 45 minutes to 1 hour. Do bring any toys, books, drinks or snacks that your child may enjoy.
Rachel Miller sees many children for a variety of conditions at her clinic in the Highgate Health Centre in Highgate Village, London. Clinics are held every weekend either on a Saturday or Sunday and every Tuesday. Please contact the Centre for an appointment on 020 8348 5553. For the Centre’s address, map and directions go to the Contact page.
Some common conditions that children are given biomechanical assessments for include:
Hypermobility – This is a spectrum of conditions that affect your connective tissue where you can move your joints beyond a normal range of movement. It is a common in children and one that may not need any medical intervention. However, some children suffer pain and stiffness in their joints or muscles, are prone to if appropriate an orthotic can be prescribed to help relieve pain as well as reduce the risk of foot, knee, hip and lower back pain as your child grows older. See the Hypermobility
High arches (Pes Cavus) – Where a person has an arch which is higher than usual. This can cause stress as the extra pressure is carried on the heel or ball of the foot. High arches in children can be inherited or caused a nerve or muscle condition such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), among other conditions. High arches can cause conditions such as plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia and calluses. The aim of treatment is to distribute weight across a larger area of your foot and bespoke orthotics might be appropriate as they can be effective in achieving this. See the High arches page for more information.
Flat feet (Pes Planovalgus) – Where the foot has an arch that is lower than usual. Flat feet are normal in many children and can self correct. The problem is if the condition persists and is associated with pain or disability. Treatment with orthosis can be be effective in treating discomfort. See the Flat feet page for more information.
Sever’s Disease (Calcaneal apophysitis) – Is really an injury that causes pain and sometimes swelling in the heel and is common in children who exercise a lot often involving running or jumping. The calf muscles form the Achilles tendon which attaches into the heel bone. Overuse and repeated stress on the heel caused by the recurring pulling by the tendon on the heel bone causes inflammation of the growing part (called the growth plate) of the heel bone. During a biomechanical assessment advice such as stretching exercises, suitable footwear suggestions may be given and if appropriate an orthotic may be prescribed which can help aid healing during rehabilitation, reduce pain and facilitate normal function.
Osgood Schlatters – Often occurs in children who participate in sports and activities that involve swift changes of direction. The symptoms are worse activity, better rest. The thigh muscle, quadriceps, pull excessively on the tendon that runs from the patella to the tibial tuberosity, the bony protrusion below the kneecap, causing a repetitive injury to the growth plate that can result in pain and swelling. It is typically found in children of 10 – 14 years of age. You should seek an assessment if the pain interferes with the activity or if there is persistent redness, swelling, locking or instability of the knee. During a biomechanical assessment advice such as stretching exercises, suitable footwear suggestions may be given and if appropriate an orthotic may be prescribed which can help aid healing during rehabilitation, reduce pain and facilitate normal function.