Mentally and physically handicapped individuals, such as those afflicted with Down syndrome and cerebral palsy, have gait problems that progress with age. These gait abnormalities frequently lead to the eventual development of foot pain if not corrected. No matter what the etiology, foot pain can lead to a decrease in activity and mobility and, for the mentally handicapped, the eventual removal of community participation . Studies have found that early identification and correction with conservative care of lower extremity foot deformities commonly seen with the mentally and physically challenged can lead to improved development of the individual both physically and socially [2, 3]. This chapter covers orthoses, shoe gear, and shoe modifications to help with the most common pedal problems associated with active mentally and physically challenged individuals, with the hope of improving physical activity and wellness.
KeywordsFoot biomechanics Down syndrome athletes Cerebral palsy in athletes Special Olympics
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