A Journey from Misdiagnosis to Hopeful Solutions

I had a young man come in the other day, and his main complaint was that he had a lot of internal rotation in his feet. He had been pigeon-toed. The father told me that the other physicians had looked at his son's feet and ankles and couldn't figure out why he had this problem, so they told him there was nothing ANYONE could do.

First, I enjoy how three doctors in a hospital are unable to solve a problem, leading them to believe that no one can—a terrific way to instill hope. Second, they were looking at the feet and ankles since that is where the disease is visible, not where it originates.

So the solution to his being pigeon-toed and his toes pointing in is the same as it is for someone whose toes point out. The pelvis is to blame. This individual has extremely tight iliopsoas, hip flexors, and muscles. What was happening was that the entire leg was being dragged in, not just the top.

By the time it reached to his feet, this little twist was generating a substantial disruption. Although one foot rolled in more than the other, which is normal, they both rolled in. The solution is to raise tone, not strength, in the muscles that externally rotate and roll away from the femoral center line. We were able to practice the exercises in the office, and you could instantly notice a difference.

Always begin with the notion that things can be fixed, and never allow that notion leave your mind. Find better doctors if necessary, but don't let anyone convince you to give up. If you're wondering what the exercise was, I tied a band around his foot and had him push his toes out 60 times under low resistance in the direction we wanted them to go.

I also had him practice glute med kickbacks with a concentration on the far end of the range of motion. We adjust the tone by activating muscles under tiny resistance several times, therefore he must do so. But, now that he understands the source of the problem is in his hip, he can concentrate on feeling those muscles contract.

There's nothing wrong with asking questions and exploring other people's perspectives. Never lose hope because there are always solutions.

As always if you have any questions, please send them to Questions@ChalmersWellness.com

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Dr. Matt Chalmers

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only. Before taking any action based on this information you should first consult with your physician or health care provider. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions regarding a medical condition, your health, or wellness.

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