Children and flat feet – do they need orthotics

Children and flat feet – do they need orthotics

Dr Brenden Brown – Podiatrist with his daughter Maddy in our Penrith clinic


One of the most common reasons kids present to podiatrists is for the treatment of ‘Flat Feet’.  I personally see hundreds of children a year who have flat feet and require my assistance. It can be a simple problem to under estimate but without the right advice and attention can lead to a life time of problems.

A ‘flat foot’ can be described in many ways, ‘fallen arches’ ‘rolled in ankles’ or ‘excessive pronation’. This type of foot is relatively common in children. Many children with “flat feet” remain symptom free for many years.  However, in many cases if this foot type continues through to adulthood it may become symptomatic and can be a causative or contributing factor for many other foot problems.

For many children the answer will be orthotics which are specially designed insoles that are placed inside the child’s schools shoes and joggers. They are relatively unobtrusive and do not require special shoes to fit – Most times they will fit perfectly inside your Clarks school shoe by simply removing the specially designed removable liner.

When do kids need orthotics?

In my clinic when assessing patients I look for 4 sign / symptoms in children in conjunction with a flat foot before deciding on whether a child needs orthoses.

Pain – If there is any pain present it often means the muscles in the feet and legs are under pressure meaning the bone structure is not able to perform its job and may require assistance from an orthotic to help.

Tripping and falling or general clumsiness – Reports from parents or the child themselves of tripping and falling or general clumsiness are signs that the foots structure and surrounding musculature are not able to support itself as required.

Child fatigues quickly –A child should be able to play all day without pain or the need to sit down for long periods due to fatigue. So to children should be able to happily walk around shopping centers or for that matter a family outing without the need to sit from fatigue after minutes or even an hour.

Growing Pains – There are a terrible amount of growing pains diagnosed by well-meaning practitioners. Please consider having your children’s feet checked. It is my opinion that many times growing pains may be able to be stopped by simply looking at how your child walks or runs and treating any imbalances.

A note about “growing pains” There are a terrible amount of growing pains diagnosed. By well-meaning practitioners. Please consider having your children’s feet checked. It is our opinion that many times growing pains may be able to be stopped by simply looking at how your child walks or runs and treating any imbalances. I continue to be impressed and please by the really positive result we are seeing in patients when these imbalances are corrected.

If you child has one or more of these signs it is a good idea to consult a podiatrist. Treatment with orthotics while initially appearing expensive has significant health benefits to children. In times when we are struggling to get our children outside away from computer games. I think ensuring you have a child that is happy and health and able to play happily outside without pain is a must.

By Dr Brenden Brown Podiatrist
Dr Brenden as he is called by kids who visit our clinics is a recognised expert in kids feet. He has a passion for keeping kids happy healthy and active! For this reason Dr Brenden has appeared on dozens of television shows and literally hundreds of media articles. He has proudly spent time as the ambassador for Clarks foot wear – one of Australia’s leading kids foot wear brands. He see’s children with foot and ankle pain in his clinic every day helping get them back to pain free. While Dr Brenden has been recognised world wide for his expertise, he is in fact most proud of being a Dad to two happy healthy fabulous daughters!

Luddenham Village Café

Right next door to the Caltex service station
Ph 4773 4488 …..

3035 The Northern Road,Luddenham, NSW 2745

Dan Berardinelli is the patriarch of a large and growing family. Not in the traditional sense of husband, wife, and children. But as in the proud owner of the Luddenham Village Café and expanding legion of coffee devotees.

I know, because I’m one of them.

My introduction to Dan began by chance. I was in dire need for a morning coffee-fix – a daily occurrence for me, born from the conviction that coffee is on par with oxygen as a life-sustaining necessity.

Desperate, I heeded a friend’s recommendation to visit Dan’s café. But not without doubt when I pulled into it’s parking lot and saw that it was situated next to a service station. Ye God, I thought, chances of getting a decent brew here are about as likely as celebrity chef Curtis Stone announcing he’s retiring from TV to open an all-night kebab van.

Was I ever wrong.

Despite the early hour, inside was jammed wall to wall. A line of at least 20 customers patiently waited, while the sound of espresso machines whirred from behind a display case filled with Italian cakes and pastries, each made with artistic flair.

And within full view were fresh roasting coffee beans, casting an intoxicating aroma that convinced my olfactory nodes I had entered the Shangri-la of coffee shops. Homemade blends justified this belief. As did the availability of imported single-origin coffee, which to coffee lovers is the equivalent of single malt scotch to scotch drinkers.

Wow, I thought to myself. This is not someone’s go-through-the-motions business, this is someone’s passion.

The passion of Dan Berardinelli.

On an average day, Dan and his tireless crew of 15 will serve more than 500 cups of coffee. Regardless of what time you visit, it’s always busy. And as the Luddenham Village Café’s numbers continue to grow, so does its menu.

In addition to Panini sandwiches and Italian desserts, highlighted by five-star cannoli, the café now serves Sunday breakfast……… Yes Dan I will get there promise!

When time allows, Dan focuses on his other passion – going from table to table, getting to know his customers on a first name basis. This despite a reasonably pronounced limp caused by the removal of large chunks of bone from his foot because of a sarcoma – a form of foot cancer.

And this is how I came to know Dan. In one of our almost daily conversations, he asked, did I see you on TV last night? This is how Dan discovered my practice as a podiatrist.  And just as I became a regular at his café, Dan became a regular at A Step Ahead.

We have since fitted Dan with an orthotic insole for his shoe, giving him extra support and comfort. And while he still limps, he says the pain has somewhat subsided. Hopefully with continued visits he’ll continue to improve.

But to Dan this is of no consequence. He says the only thing that matters to him is providing the best service to his growing family of customers. A family I’m proud to be a part of.  

Not to forget the special offers! All you need do is call our practice at A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle Care and mention you’d like to enter the competition. Now what is it for? 2 prizes of a Breakfast for two at the café for the first 2 caller valued at up to 50 dollars. So get calling 9673 2987 or 4732 2007. Oops gotta go I think that’s the phone !

Ok so I have to note one final thing …….

Another trade mark of Dan’s, that I love is his terrible and I mean terrible poetry !!! He has been known to place words together in a sentence that should never be held even remotely near one another. To have a look go to but Dan please don’t stop my Latte wouldn’t taste the same not snorted through my nostrils after reading your prose!

For all your Foot and Lower Limb Care needs, come and see us at:
A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Care
24 Phillip Street, St Marys; or
Suite 4, 36 Woodriff Street, Penrith

Older feet

As one grows older, many problems are likely to spring up. The feet are not spared and this is the reason why the older feet need more special care and attention than the feet of the young people.

To maintain good health and shape of your older feet, you should frequently visit a podiatry centre like A Step Ahead Foot and Ankle Care Clinic.

One of the foot care specialists of the clinic Mr Brenden Brown, who is also the principal podiatrist, has gained experience over the last 15 years in taking care of the older feet. He has also in the past been the president of Australasian Podiatry Council and knows what the older feet need to remain strong.

To keep your older feet in their youthful condition, you should wear properly fitting shoes to avoid suffering from bunions and other conditions which may be caused by application of pressure to your feet by shoes. Podiatrists advise that the shoe size should be modified (increased) to fit the older feet as their mass lessens and the tissues weaken.

It was shocking when a study in a US hospital revealed that over 75% of the older people who were admitted to the hospital wore improperly fitting shoes. This is the case in many other countries; older feet do not get the required care and attention.

How do bone spurs occur? Mr Brenden Brown of A Step Ahead Foot and Ankle Care has the answer

Most patients visit A Step Ahead Foot and Ankle Care Clinic to get answer to the question: how do bone spurs occur? Bone spurs refer to the outgrowth of a small pointed bone in the feet.

How do bone spurs occur?

Bone spurs occur because of inflammation. The inflammation may be caused by tendinitis or degenerative arthritis. The inflammation has the effect of stimulating the cells which are involved in the formation of bones to deposit and form bones in the area and this leads to development of spur or bony prominence. The Principal Podiatrist of the clinic Mr Brenden Brown will answer the question of how do bone spurs occur and at the same time offer advice and treatment.

Most bone spurs occur in the heel bone; sole; in the spine which is next to the foot degenerative discs; around the joints which have cartilage which is degenerated;  or at the back of the foot.

If you ask yourself, ‘how do bone spurs occur?’ you will also most probably want to get information on the symptoms of the condition. The symptoms vary depending on their location but people suffering from bone spurs of the foot may experience tenderness, pain, numbness, and irritation.