10 May Top 3 Tips to help correct Positional Talipes
When a newborn baby has turned in feet, it is first crucial to have a Paediatric Physiotherapist assess and provide a correct diagnosis of either Positional or Structural Taplies. The treatment of the two conditions is vastly different and if Structural Talipes is mis-diagnosed this can lead to lasting problems and more invasive surgical corrections later in life.
Once a correct diagnosis is provided, here are 3 top tips to help correct Positional Talipes:
- Don’t swaddle baby’s legs and feet tightly when wrapping baby to sleep.
Baby has been tightly packaged inside mummy’s tummy and now needs to stretch out and straighten their feet. When wrapping baby to sleep, make sure the lower half of their body is not tightly swaddled. This will allow baby the freedom to stretch out and kick their feet as desired.
- Encourage baby to actively kick and straighten their feet.
Stroke and tickle baby’s feet to elicit active kicking of the foot to straighten out. There is no set formula on where to actually tickle, just tickle baby on the sole or top of their feet to get them to kick out and upwards. Baby needs to strengthen their ankle and foot muscles by kicking actively.
- Gentle stretches to correct baby’s foot position.
To stretch baby’s foot position into the correct position, it is best to have an experienced Paediatric Physiotherapist show you how to do it for your baby because different babies will have their foot positioned differently. Generally, it is important to ensure that you hold baby’s heel while you perform any stretches to the forefoot. Often only small movements are needed to correct the Positional Talipes, and it is important to ensure baby’s foot is held properly to prevent excessive stretching that can “break” the midfoot structures.