When Does a Child’s Toe Walking Improve?

The child’s toe walking can develop due to many different problems. In this article, we have explained many issues such as the causes of this problem, treatment methods, and how to fix it. Let’s see what are the reasons for toe walking in children?

Why do children walk on tiptoe?

As children begin to walk, they first progress in the form of heel strike, then sole press and toe press. But in some children, this progress may not progress as expected, toe gait may be seen first. This condition usually improves after 2 years of age.

Toe walking can be observed in almost 15% of children. In fact, the cause of many toe walking cases is not known exactly. For this reason, problems are not observed in both physical and neurological tests of children who apply to the doctor.

However, there may be serious problems underlying this issue. Chief among these are some neurological problems. Let’s take a look at these problems, what can toe walking indicate?

  • moderate cerebral palsy
  • spinal cord problems,
  • Muscular and skeletal problems in the lower parts of the body,
  • Tetrachord Syndrome,
  • Achilles tendon shortening
  • developmental delay,
  • metabolic disorders,
  • clubfoot syndrome,
  • short leg,
  • Hip dislocation .

Meanwhile, the lack of sensory integration also causes toe walking. In particular, infants walking on their toes may develop accordingly. Dissatisfaction with this feeling when touching new, untouched tissues may lead to walking on tiptoe. At this stage, you need to introduce the baby to different tissues. Toe walking can also be a sign of autism. Such a condition may also manifest itself with other symptoms.

How is toe walking evaluated by experts?

When a doctor is consulted with this complaint, first the history of the child is asked and the following questions can be asked to the parents;

  • Did you have any complaints during pregnancy?
  • Have you had a premature birth ?
  • How old was he when he showed other developmental traits such as turning , crawling, talking, laughing?
  • When did toe walking start?
  • Does anyone in the family have this story?
  • Does the child walk on tiptoe, unilateral or bilateral?
  • Can he walk straight when properly oriented?
  • Are there any conditions such as leg or foot pain ?

After the answers to these questions are received, other tests are also performed and the problem, if any, is detected.

How is toe walking treatment performed?

The first stage of this treatment is done by orthopedists. If a neurological problem is detected during the examinations, it is evaluated by a neurologist. Accordingly, specific treatments are available for the problem. However, whatever the problem is, physical therapy and physiotherapy are applied in addition to additional treatments for the condition. Physical therapy is a very effective treatment method in this regard.

If the problem is caused by a short Achilles tendon or short leg, surgical interventions may also be required.

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