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What are 'pigeon toes'?

21 Jul 2016 4:01 PM -

Pigeon Toe or In-toeing where the toes point inwards is a common condition that we treat here at the Active Foot Clinic. 

Why is it important that we correct in-toeing?

When children and adults walk with their feet not aligned correctly joints wear more on one side, muscles work harder on one side of the joint, some ligaments and joint capsules stretch while others contract. This can lead to wear and tear, injuries, joint damage and arthritis down the track. Keeping children and adults well aligned can help to prevent these complications now and into the future so that you can stay pain free and active throughout life. 

Case Study: Kian's mother Erika was concerned by the way Kein walked with his toes pointing in.  

Erika noticed that he was wearing out his shoes in unusual places and wanted him to grow evenly and correctly. Erika wanted Kein to stay active to the level he wanted to and didn't want his posture to get out of whack in the future as she knew that it is harder to fix later. 

All 5 members of Erika's had been to the clinic with good results since the Active Foot clinic's affiliation with their soccer club. The treatment was effective. Gait retraining, orthotics and stretches balanced Kein's feet and Kein did not need much encouragement to stick to the program. 

Erika is confident that Kein will be able to remain active for longer with no long-term impact of pigeon toes. Kein's podiatrist noticed a distinct improvement in his postural alignment and continues to monitor his development. 

What causes intoeing?

  • Muscle imbalance and soft tissue contractions in feet, legs or hips
  • Family history of metatarsus adductus
  • Position of baby in uterus
  • Sleeping position of baby
  • Stunted development of foot in utero (8-9wks)
  • Abnormal muscle insertions in the foot
  • Has been linked with developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH)
  • Hypermobility
  • Poor sitting posture

Treatment Options

Chosen treatment options for in-toeing will vary depend on several factors including  age, severity, rigidity. The earlier we treat the better.  

Treatment options may include:

Changing sleeping or sitting position of child, orthotics with gait plates, walking training, stretching and strengthening exercises, casting, splints or braces, surgery, mobilisation and shoe padding. 

For more information, or a through assessment come and see one of our friendly podiatrists today! 


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