The third-quarter issue of the 2023 Asian-Pacific Chiropractic Journal published a study that documented a case of pigeon toe walking being corrected under chiropractic care. Pigeon toe walking, also known as in-toeing, is when a person’s feet point inward instead of straight forward or slightly outward.
According to the researchers in this study, “Pigeon-toe or in-towing is a relatively common condition in childhood causing the toes to point inward or feet to excessively internally rotate when standing or walking. While this condition usually resolves as the child ages it does appear to affect a child’s gait, causing repetitive falls. Sometimes a child’s self-esteem may also be adversely affected by this condition.”
Common medical care for in-toe walking is watchful waiting. No care is usually medically rendered in the anticipation that the child will grow out of the condition in a few years. Some more severe cases are sometimes referred to an orthopedist for bracing. In many cases, parents choose not to just wait and turn to alternative forms of care such as chiropractic.
In this case, a 2½-year-old girl was brought to the chiropractor by her mother in the hopes that the child could receive help with her in-toeing walking. Her mother was concerned because she reported that her daughter would often trip over her own feet and fall.
Other than the in-toe walking, the little girl was very healthy. She would normally eat healthy organic food and snacks given to her by her mother. The girl’s history showed no serious illness or history of surgeries. She was not on any medications and had not had any serious traumatic events or accidents other than the multiple minor falls from tripping.
A chiropractic examination was performed as best as could be because the child was a bit apprehensive and uncooperative. The examination did verify the inward turned feet and showed the presence of subluxations in the spine. Age and size appropriate specific chiropractic adjustments were started to address the subluxations.
The study reports that by the third chiropractic visit, the girl was walking with one foot straight. By the fourth visit, it was observed that both feet mostly straight when the girl was walking, and her problem was mainly resolved.
In the conclusion of this study the authors commented, “This case may demonstrate a conservative, effective treatment for a subset of children presenting with in-toeing ~ particularly when watching and waiting is not preferred and the child’s gait, repetitive falls, and self-esteem are being adversely affected by this condition.”
Content by Hedglon Chiropratic Center