As kids grow and learn to walk and run, their bodies go through so many changes. Their bones are growing bigger and stronger, their coordination and balance are developing, their muscles are getting bigger, stronger and more flexible, and as a result, the position of their feet and legs go through a number of changes.
Two of these changes are in-toeing and out-toeing. While both positions can be a normal and healthy stage when kids are first learning to walk confidently, when they persist past a certain age or continue for too long, they may cause painful problems or make kids more vulnerable to injury.
In-toeing is often referred to as pigeon-toeing and describes the position where children are walking with their feet turned inwards to face one another. This inwards rotation may be mild or very pronounced, and may affect one or both feet. Generally speaking, the ‘normal’ period of in-toeing can range from the first steps up to four years of age. When your child continues to in-toe past this age or with great severity, this may be caused by:
Out-toeing, on the other hand, is referred to as being duck-footed and describes the position where the feet are twisted outwards away from one another instead of pointing straight ahead. Again, the severity can vary and may affect one or both feet. Much like in-toeing, out-toeing should also resolve by the age of four or five, and may be a result of:
Managing both conditions is important because without treatment, kids are more likely to trip and fall during sports, it may have an impact on their muscles and ligaments, and the body may start to make other compensations or over work, which will put them at a higher risk of pains and aches.
We treat both in-toeing and out-toeing safely and effectively without surgery or painful or invasive treatment. We have proven processes that deliver the best results for our patients, which involves a special type of orthotic to help rotate the feet and legs appropriately, stretching and strengthening exercises, and wearing good, stabilising shoes.