ONCE UPON A TIME… a father asked Bonnie, “Can you help with turned in feet?”
Bonnie had just fixed his shoulder during a Myotherapy demonstration at a local lecture sponsored by the business community in western Massachusetts. After two months of static stretching and three months in appliances designed to force the little feet out for 12 hours a day (which they hadn’t) this dad was desperate for real solutions for his seven-month-old daughter. A few days later Kim and Dad arrived at Bonnie’s home for a lesson in Myotherapy and exercise. Dad was diligent with daily Myotherapy and exercise. Two weeks later, Dad could see that Kim’s feet were beginning to improve. At nine months she began walking. By age 5 her feet were straight and 12 years later Kim was one of Arizona’s top ranking high school athletes.
Once not so long ago… I was in a hotel lobby waiting for a friend and watching a young mom try to keep up with her toddler daughter, toes turned in. It is a fine line… do you say something to the mom or not? We did and she was so very grateful. In minutes we had explained why the feet turned in and we had shown her what to do about it. She had been told not to worry, that it was common, that the child will grow out of it… well the child was now two and had NOT grown out of it…
In 1980 pediatric treatment for babies with turned in feet for up to six months was: nothing, it is normal and he/she will grow out of it or an alternative of “rubbing” the outside of the foot. If the condition is not corrected by six months it is called “internal tibial torsion” and a brace placed between special shoes is worn. When that doesn’t work and the knee caps start turning in it is called “femoral torsion” and surgery is suggested or a more conservative route of not lying in a fetal position, not tucking your legs beneath while sitting or discouraging sitting in a W position.
Thirty-six years later, 2016, the treatment is the same.
The “Womb Room” can be tight and little feet can be forced to turn in during the last month or so. But if you were a marionette, with strings, what string would you pull if you wanted the foot to turn in? You would pull the one on the inside of the leg. If you wanted the foot to turn out you would pull the one on the outside of the leg. Your muscles are similar. If you sit in the “womb room” with your feet turned in the muscles on the inside of the leg are going to be shortened. You stretch the muscles of the inner leg by turning the little feet out. But to make your progress faster you first take out the trigger points, which are causing the muscles to hold the shortened position.
And that is what Bonnie taught Kim’s dad. With each diaper change Dad spent a couple of minutes on locating trigger points and stretching the little feet and legs. Whether your baby has turned in feet, turned out feet or is walking on her toes, these conditions can usually be corrected with Bonnie Prudden’s Myotherapy and Corrective Exercise.
You cannot force muscles into submission…you must coax them. You must take the knots out and then give them a bit of help with the right exercise. Bones do not go anywhere without muscles pulling on them. So when there is “tibial torsion” or “femoral torsion” take the knots out of the marionette’s string (in this case the muscles on the inside of the leg,) and then pull the string on the outside of the leg (stretch the little feet and legs out) to give it a bit of help.
To help guide you through this experience, read How to Keep Your Child Fit from Birth to Six or Pain Erasure the Bonnie Prudden Way and follow the directions for locating the trigger points and stretching the little feet and legs.
Babies come into this world with three posture anomalies: a tendency toward round back, flaccid abdominals and tight hamstrings. Your perfect baby still needs exercise in order to stay that way, grow up with a straight back, tight abdominals and flexible back and hamstrings. It is weak abdominals and tight hamstrings that cause low back pain, cost millions of days of lost work and millions of health care dollars that could better be spent on early childhood education.
If Kim’s dad can do it… you can too.
For more information about Bonnie Prudden®, Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy®, workshops, books, self-help tools, DVDs, educational videos, and blogs, visit www.bonnieprudden.com. Or call 520-529-3979 if you have questions or need help. Enid Whittaker, Managing Director, Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy®