Walking Problems

In-toeing

This is also known as pigeon toed. This is where the child’s feet turn in whilst walking. It is actually quite common in childhood and usually corrects itself by the ages of eight or nine.  In-toeing can cause some issues such as increased tripping, awkward running or walking style.

Common causes of In-toeing are:

  • Metatarsus adductus (the foot turns inwards), usually the outside of the foot is straight however with metatarsus adductus the outside of the foot is curved. This can be treated with stretching, massage and in some cases orthotics and casting
  • Internal Tibial Torsion (the lower leg), is where the bone between knee and the ankle turns inwards. It is common in infancy and usually children grown out of it. There are no specific exercises that can help
  • Internal Femoral Torsion (Thigh bone, is where the thigh bone turns in between the hip and the knee. It is quite normal in young children and is usually outgrown by 10 years old

Out-Toeing

Out-toeing is where the feet curve outwards instead of being straight. This is very common in children and generally corrects itself and doesn’t require treatment.

Tiptoe Walking

Tiptoe walking is the least common, however is quite normal in young children up to 3 years of age. If your child is tiptoe walking after this age they may require further evaluation.  Causes can be habit, familial or indicating a neuromuscular disorder such as cerebral palsy.  Treatment will be tailored to each individual case.

Flat feet

Flat feet are very common in young children, the arch does not fully develop until age 5-6.  Typically children with flat feet have a flexible flat foot, meaning the arch is present but it disappears once standing.  Treatment is tailored to children with symptoms such as pain or walking problems. Some treatment options include well fitting and supportive footwear, stretching and strengthening and occasionally off the shelf orthotics.