Most children begin to walk around 9-18 months with their feet flat on the ground.
However, some kids will start walking on their tippy toes.
This toe walking gait is often normal and just a way toddlers find comfortable to walk.
If the Toe walking is Idiopathic (for an unknown reason) usually, kids will grow out of it by 7 years old. Some kids do continue to mildly toe walk in their adult years.
Symptoms of Idiopathic Toe walking include:
- Walking on tippy toes on both sides.
- Are able to get their heels on the ground when walking (if you ask them).
- Are constantly balancing on their toes.
- As a result of the entire toe walking over the years- the kids often develop tight calf muscles and then can find it difficult to get their heels on the ground.
If you feel your child is not outgrowing toe walking, it is best to see a podiatrist at The Fresh Foot Centre servicing Narre Warren, Berwick, Hallam, Beaconsfield, Cranbourne, Hampton Park, Pakenham as well as many other areas in the South East. In some cases, toe walking can be associated with a neurological condition such as Autism. If you are concerned there are developmental delays or associated neurological concerns, it is best to seek medical advice by your general practitioner.
Podiatry Treatment of Idiopathic Toe walking with exercises
Here are some podiatry recommended exercises your toddler or child can do.
With the knee straight – Bend the foot at the ankle joint towards the child’s head- as seen in the diagram below.
Hold the stretch for 15 seconds and release. Repeat 30 times on each leg and do this at least twice a day. If this stretch is painful for the child – STOP. This Stretch is not meant to be painful.
Squats with the heels on the ground
Ask your toddler/child to do squats on the ground ensuring the heels remain on the ground whilst squatting.
Repeat 20 repetitions twice daily
Achilles tendon stretch
Lie your toddler flat on a bed or hard surface.
Bend the child’s knee and bring foot upwards toward his head and bend at the ankle joint.
hold for 20-30 seconds and then release. repeat the exercise 15 times on each leg.