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Stretching Exercises for Clubfoot Patients

Why are stretching exercise important for my child with clubfoot?

Stretching the affected clubfoot may help maintain and improve motion of the foot. This is beneficial to help the flexibility of the ankle and foot in children with clubfoot. These specific motions of the ankle and foot can help maintain elasticity of the Achilles tendon along the back of the ankle and foot. Rotating the foot in all different directions can help maintain full range of motion. 

When should the exercises be done?

Generally, a specific time of day should be set aside. We recommend stretching exercises be done daily before applying the child’s Mitchelll-Ponseti brace at night time. This way, you can make this a nightly routine for your family. The physical therapist can help with residual tightness and/or weakness. 

Can these exercises make child’s clubfoot stronger?

Most children improve in strength with their daily play activities. Stretching exercises can improve flexibility and strengthen if done properly. If your doctor believes additional strengthening is needed, your child may be referred to physical therapy. The physical therapist can help with residual tightness and/or weakness. 

What are specific exercises that I can do to help maintain flexibility in my child’s clubfoot?

Ankle Dorsiflexion Exercises
Place the palm of your hand under your child’s foot and with the other hand on the child’s flexed knee. Gently flex the ankle up and out. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.

Ankle Eversion Exercises
Place one hand around the calf of your child’s leg and the other hand around the base of the great toe. Gently, bring the foot outward. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.