Yves started walking alone 1 week after his 1st birthday and I noticed that when walking, his right foot is more turned outwards than the other one. Am I worried?....Yes I am!
Though they said that “almost all toddlers, learning to walk, have ankles that turn out… All of this is normal…Feet and ankles and knees all grow and adapt, and these things improve with time.”, which comforts me a lot.
However, for our case, I feel that Yves will outgrow this but my husband insisted to have it checked, he said that it is better to correct at an early age as the bones are still developing and can easily adapt to change, which I agree with him.
So after discussing with our paediatrician, Dr. MC Tan of Raffles Hospital he recommended us to see a Paediatric Physiotherapist to give us a peace of mind.
So last Saturday, 22 Feb we went to Kids Focus Physiotherapist and we met Ms. Serena Kwa, she is the Consultant Physiotherapist of the Kids Focus and all I can say she is adorable!
Let me share with you about the visit..
1. We arrived in the clinic at least 5-10 minutes earlier before our appointment time this is to allow Yves to at least be comfortable and settle in the new environment.
2. The place doesn't look like a clinic at all! It looks like a play area for kids because there are toys around them.
3. We discussed about our concerns about his walking.
Serena checked the way of walking, running, kicking the ball, the structure of his legs and feet, and also checked if Yves is flat foot, etc and the findings was...Yves's foot is perfectly normal!..only mild pronation.
What is foot pronation?
Pronation is a turning outward of the foot at the ankle, so that one has a tendency to walk on the inner border of the foot. When a foot and ankle pronates to a great degree, we call it over-pronation. During the normal gait cycle, we all pronate and then rapidly recover. It is over-pronation that patients are concerned with. This is a static deformity associated with flat feet and sometimes with foot and arch pain.
Because pronation is a twisting of the foot, all of the muscles and tendons that run from the leg and ankle into the foot will be twisted. If left untreated, pronation may be the cause of heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, frequent ankle sprains, shin splints, weak and painful arches, and eventually knee, hip, and lower back pain. (Source:http://www.ourhealthnetwork.com/conditions/FootandAnkle/Pronation.asp)
What are the causes?
A common cause of pronation is heredity. The second most common cause is due to the way our feet were positioned in the uterus while we were developing; this is called a congenital defect. (Source:http://www.ourhealthnetwork.com/conditions/FootandAnkle/Pronation.asp)
|Hmmmm, can be true because this is how Yves looks like when he was still inside me lols!|
Treatment of Pronation:
If pronation is diagnosed before the age of five it can usually be treated in such a manner that the bones and joints will be aligned properly as growth continues. Treatment for pronation in children may include: night braces, custom-made orthotics, and exercises. These treatments usually continue until growth is complete, and then the adult may need to wear custom-made orthotics to prevent the pronation from returning (the foot, as every other part of our body, tends to return to its original form if preventive measures are not taken). (Source:http://www.ourhealthnetwork.com/conditions/FootandAnkle/Pronation.asp)
But for Yves, Serene recommended to use custom-made orthotics or plastic inserts that are placed in regular shoes. These devices support the arch and heel and align the anklebones and leg bones to prevent the pronation from becoming worse.
Serene explained to us that when buying a pair of shoes, it’s best for babies to have a soft, moldable shoe while they are still learning to walk so they can really get the feel of how their feet work; but then, once they get the hang of it and spend a lot of time on their feet, it’s best to get a shoe w/ a supportive sole. She recommended few brands like Stride Rite and Pediped.
She also encouraged to let our kids walk in a different surface area, let them go barefoot in the sand or grass and feel the texture of the ground.
At the end, we decided to get the custom-made orthotics which cost S$150/pair (Made from Germany) and a new pair of shoes from Dr. Kong (never heard of this brand but maybe worth a try) which we bought in BabyCare Festival expo for S$69.
Anyway, I feel I am compelled to share this story, hopefully I can help mommies out there who have the same concern.