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Toe Walking

During development, when a child begins to pull to stand, and begins to take steps, they will go through a brief period of time on their toes, but they should always come down.

Toe walking is never a predominant pattern, and is only meant to prepare the foot for more forward strides and speed.

Persistent ToE Walking…..

  • Does not go away on its own
  • Results in orthopedic issues such as:
    • Changing the alignment of the foot
    • Bone growth of the calcaneous (heel)
    • Shortening of the length of the heel cord & calf muscles
  • Can be a result of trunk and/or lower extremity weakness
  • Affects the center of gravity due to dysfunctional motor planning
  • Can cause future balance and lower extremity joint problems if left untreated.
  • Can be a result of sensory processing deficits/sensitivity issues
  • Provides intense proprioceptive input to the calf muscle
  • May be a sign of tactile sensitivity
  • May be a result of poor visual-vestibular processing.

 

Treatment

Toe walking can be a result of several underlying factors.  A screening by a physical therapist and/or occupational therapist can identify the root cause of what is contributing to the persistent toe walking.  

Following are some general suggestions to enhance your child's core strength:
  • While lying on his/her back, have your child kick their legs up in the air
  • Wall kicks - have your child lie on their back with their head up against the wall, have them bring their legs up to the wall and touch it
  • Sit-ups with knees bent, have your child pull-to-sit
  • Planks
  • Push-ups - either on the knees or their toes
  • Sit on an unsupported surface without back support (bench, small ball, chair)
  • Play in tall kneel
  • Crawling - on all fours, reaching for objects, throwing objects
185 S. Marley Rd. New Lenox, IL 60451