Toe walking is an atypical pattern of walking where children walk on the balls of their feet, without placing their heels on the ground. Toe walking can be quite common when children are learning to walk, however after the age of two most children should develop a heel-to-toe pattern of walking.
In the majority of cases, persistent toe walking is classified as “idiopathic,” meaning that the exact cause is not known. Typically, it can be a result of habit or due to the calf muscles becoming tighter over time. However, in some cases persistent toe walking past the age of two can be a sign of underlying medical condition and will need a doctor review.
In the instances of idiopathic toe talking, physiotherapy intervention can help. Your physiotherapist will assess your child’s walking, foot posture, range of motion, strength in their legs and balance. The treatment will be based on the assessment findings which are individual for each person:
- The treatment will depend on the age of the child and whether they are able to walk flat-footed.
- Typically, treatment will involve strengthening and stretching the leg muscles.
- If severe, may result in a period of casting or bracing to help stretch the muscles and tendons in the calf
If you are concerned about your child’s toe walking, book in a review with one of our paediatric physiotherapists today on 9907 0321.