shoes, orthopedic

Orthopedic shoes or corrective shoes are rarely appropriate and only only when prescribed for a definite medical condition by a competent physician, preferably a pediatric orthopedist. A shoe salesman will not do. The best shoes for babies are often the cheap little tennis shoes from the discount store, because they allow the foot to flex and be exercised normally, and they don't last long enough to be grown out of (causing cramping of the foot in the shoe).

Even when the common orthopedic conditions of childhood - intoeing due to tibial torsion, knock knees, outtoeing, or bowlegs - persist into adulthood, they are infrequently associated with pain or any functional problems. corrective shoes have been repeatedly shown to be ineffective in altering the natural course of such conditions. The rationalization that physicians use that the parents will feel better (stop complaining to the doctor) and while the things are expensive, at least they do no harm.

Unfortunately, that is not the case. Children who wear corrective shoes in childhood are much more likely to have lower self esteem in adulthood. Years later, they can often remember feeling bad about wearing the shoes, and remember being taunted by their peers.

Orthopedic shoes are most often appropriately prescribed for conditions in which the foot has been pushed out of proper alignment by prenatal pressure on the foot caused by the cramped conditions in utero.

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