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Healthy Cells is a local health magazine with most of the articles written by local professionals. People love to read about healthcare from their local health professionals. Each month includes a wide variety of articles on various topics.
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Flat Feet & Pigeon Toes

Many parents worry about their child walking “pigeon toed.” Little kids’ feet sometimes turn inward when they walk, usually resulting from an abnormal rotation of the lower or upper leg present at birth. While this may seem concerning, rest assured that in most cases, pigeon toes correct themselves on their own as children grow and gain better muscle control and coordination. Unless your child is tripping and the condition is interfering with his or her ability to run and play, treatment is not necessary. If, however, kids’ feet turning inward is slow to improve and gets in the way of their normal activities, there are some conservative measures you can take to help speed up the rotational correction.

    Stretches and exercises that encourage feet to stay in proper position — when done regularly — can help muscles learn to point feet forward. Custom orthotics are also helpful in keeping feet in correct alignment. There are night splints that can be worn, but just as braces were once thought to be beneficial, these too have proven to be somewhat ineffective. The best thing to do is to have your child’s feet evaluated by a podiatrist. A podiatrist can rule out any serious underlying conditions that may be contributing, and determine the right course of action to help your child’s feet develop normally.
    Another condition that parents often worry about is flat feet. Most times, flat feet in children pose no problems at all. Kids can run and jump and play just like any other child. However, if your child is sitting out of normal activities, walking with a limp, having difficulty wearing shoes, or complaining about pain, cramping, or tenderness in the feet, something is up! Foot pain should never be ignored!
    If your child’s flat feet are causing painful symptoms, conservative measures will usually do the trick. A switch to more supportive and cushioned footwear, as well as custom orthotics to provide the additional help flat arches need, can both do wonders in returning children to their active play. Medication, icing the area, and taking a break from activity can also be beneficial. Physical therapy exercises and stretches can help with flexibility and strength. In very rare cases, surgical intervention can be considered if all else fails.
    If your child has flat feet that aren’t causing any pain or problems, treatment is not necessary. Keep an eye on the situation to be sure that problems don’t arise down the road.

    For more information regarding foot pain or any foot problem, please contact Dr. Lockwood at Heartland Foot and Ankle Associates, at 309-661-9975 or heartlandfootandankle.com. Their office is located at 10 Heartland Dr. in Bloomington.



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