Leg and Foot Postures in Your Children
By: Dr. Bill Tortoriello

At approximately four years of age, your child’s foot has fully matured.  At this point, your children should continue developing the natural function of their feet by walking, running, jumping, and playing as much as possible.  With proper development over their first four years and continued exercise and activity throughout their adolescence, your child’s feet can grow into a solid base of support for their entire body.  However, not only children, but also supposedly athletic and active adolescents present with variations in the form of their feet that can, but not always, lead to ineffective foot function, as well as hip and knee pain.

Do your child’s feet look like this?  Should you be concerned?  What can be done about it?

   

After the age of four, flat feet are a sign that your child’s foot hasn’t developed ideally.  This can be caused by genetic variations, but is most likely a result of them not maturing ideally over their first four years of life, particularly, the first fourteen months when key developmental milestones are most significant.  Again, this is not an emergent situation where immediate concern is necessary, however, flat feet may lead to problems with not just your child’s foot, but also his knee, hip, and even low back.

Along with flat feet, there are also other signs that you, as a parent, can look for while your child is developing…these include postures such as pigeon toes (the picture on the right) and knock knees (the picture on the left).  

Pigeon toes is a posture where the feet are turned slightly inward and knock knees is a posture where the knees may be turned inwards, and almost touch each other during typical standing and walking.

 

If these signs are observed in your child, it is still not considered an urgent condition, but you may want to seek out the services of a professional to determine if treatment is necessary.

 

Dr. Bill: He has focused his continuing education with many courses in Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS) and Vojta therapy.  The combination of these therapeutic approaches use painless reflex stimulation to evoke natural movement and muscle activation along with active exercise, which is based on many of the natural positions of development that every child goes through, such as crawling and squatting.  The application of these approaches encourages the body’s natural movement patterns to activate weak muscles and teach your children to move more efficiently and effectively.