Duck feet don’t just look odd, they also increase your risk of injury. Seeing a podiatrist is the best way to stay safe.
You’ve probably noticed that children walk with their toes pointing out when they’re first starting to walk. Though that kind of duck walk is something children typically grow out of as they get more stable on their feet, adults can sometimes have duck feet as well. However, many people are not aware that this type of out-toed walking can cause some serious health problems. Read on to learn what exactly duck feet are and what you can do about them.
What Are Duck Feet?
If your feet point outwards as you walk, you are duck-footed or out-toed. The opposite scenario, where your feet point inward as your walk, is referred to as in-toed or pigeon-footed. Typically, a duck walk is not caused by a problem with the feet themselves, but by an imbalance elsewhere in your body, most often the hips.
Poor posture or excessive sitting can cause you to develop a pelvis that tilts forward. This prevents your glutes and abdominal muscles from working correctly. The result is that the muscles on the inside of your hip bones, called the external rotators, are forced to pick up the slack, eventually pulling your femur outward and causing your feet to turn outward.
Other common reasons for developing an out-toed walk are a lack of muscle strength in important areas in the leg and foot and compensation from an injury.
The Dangers of Duck Feet
Unfortunately, leaving a duck walk untreated can have serious consequences due to the additional stress it puts on the surrounding ligaments and joints. An out-toed gait increases your risk of injury and can also lead to chronic knee and back pain, bunions, ankle injuries, and flat feet.
Further, it can harm your performance in athletic activities. For example, if you are a runner, the fact that you are not using your calves, glutes, or abs can seriously reduce your power and your pace.
How To Correct Duck Feet
Given the dangers posed by an out-toed walk, it is important that anyone with duck feet take steps to correct the condition. While it is possible to correct your duck walk at home, it is a better idea to enlist the help of a professional to make sure that you don’t accidentally cause further damage.
Some of the steps that you can take to try to improve your duck walk are:
Paying more attention to how your feet fall as you walk and to how they are positioned when you are standing or resting. By consciously trying to make your feet face forward during these situations, you can help your muscles remember proper alignment.
Using orthopedic inserts in your shoes that can help retrain your muscles and move you away from your duck-footed walk.
Engaging in stretches and exercises to help you avoid sore muscles as you work to straighten out your walk. Your doctor can also recommend some foot and leg stretches that will help you improve your gait in themselves.
If you believe you have duck feet and are interested in taking steps to correct your walk and prevent injury, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at the Alamitos-Seal Beach Podiatry Group. Our professionals are here to help you straighten out your feet safely and effectively.
Request an Appointment
Fill out the form below to reach Alamitos – Seal Beach Podiatry Group, or call Los Alamitos: (562) 203-6151 or Seal Beach: (562) 242-1559 for immediate assistance.