Conditions

Tip-toe Walking

tip-toe walking

Lots of toddlers walk only on their tip-toes for a while and, like thumb-sucking or comfort blankets, most will simply grow out of it. There are, however, certain factors to look out for as the condition may indicate another, more serious problem which could need specialist attention.

Tip-toe walking means your child is only using the balls of the feet, and that the heel is not really coming into contact with the ground. For most kids this lasts 2-3 months while they learn to walk (at between 10 and 18 months) and once they’ve got the hang of taking proper steps their gait will be completely normal.

If tip-toe walking lasts longer than three months however, or if your child is still doing it after the age of three, there’s a danger that the calf muscles and general posture will be damaged. A pair of firm boots which cover the ankle will help him or her take normal steps, and so will ‘training’ sessions where you concentrate on waking together. If this doesn’t work your doctor or physiotherapist will be able to recommend special stretching exercises designed to loosen the Achilles tendon and other ankle muscles, tightness in which can cause tip-toe walking, and if there’s a more serious physical problem your doctor may suggest the temporary use of a brace.

In rare cases however, tip-toe walking can be one of the symptoms (alongside a more general difficulty in performing fiddly tasks) of mild cerebral palsy or a developmental disorder such as autism, so it’s important to keep an eye on the condition and let your doctor know about any associated changes. In most cases however, particularly with a bit of gentle parental help, tip-toe walking is a phase that will pass and will leave no lasting damage.

Comments and Questions

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We have a little boy who is almost 5, he has tip toe walked for as long as we can remember (although looking back at video of when he first walked he didn't do it) He has no sensory issues and is otherwise a very happy child. I first took him to our Gp when he was 2 1/2, who said he tendons were tight and he referred us to the NHS physio. We had complimentary private health care and we' we're able to have a few sessions with them first while we waited for the nhs appointment. After a long wait we met with the NHS physio, who said that he needed to has his legs in casts to stretch the tendons. We decided to do whatever treatment was nessecary to help the problem. He had a cast on one leg at a time for two weeks. This did not help with the tip toeing at all but at the follow up appointment they said he would grow out of it, wanting to believe the medical professional we went away reassured. Two weeks ago at a play group I was approached by a family friend who is a osteopath, she questioned what was going on at the moment with his feet and I just re iterated what we were told. My husband and I discussed it and we decided to make an appointment with her. Today we attended this and have come away with a revelation that some you you may want to think about. Our son has a slight curve in his spine and to compensate for this discomfort he tip toes. After one session and adjustment I can already see a difference





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My daughter has walked on her tip toes for 12 years now and won't stop it is this bad and what does it mean





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I'm 16 and I've walked on my toes since I started walking. When I was 3 or so, my parents took me to a doctor who told them I would grow out of it. They were uneasy, but decided to trust the doctor because he's a doctor, he must know what he's talking about right? Well, when I was 6 or 7, I still hadn't grown out of it so my parents took me to children's mercy hospital. I ended up having surgery on my Achilles tendons, to lengthen them. I had casts on both my legs for months, I would wake up screaming in the middle of the night because my legs weren't used to sitting normal. Well, I'm 16 now, and my tendons are long enough to walk flat footed, but I still walk tip-toed out of habit sometimes. My legs don't get stiff, my back never hurts, and my feet are pretty big (size 12) so no stunted growth. But my toes naturally sit pointed up like when normal feet are pointing their toes up. And when I point my toes up, I might as well be putting them against a wall. So yeah my toes grew in wrong and that's about the only thing that's wrong with me now. So they fixed me? I'm not sure if I should get my toes corrected or what?





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ive walked on my tip toes since i learned to walk. im 11. I have noticed that my legs have been very stiff lately ad have started to hurt ALOT. The first doctor i went to said that i would grow out of it and she told me a hole bunch of stories about people she knows who have "grown out" of it. And i believed her and i was super confident that one day i would grow out of it. And that i finally had something to tell those people who yell at me for it and hurt me for it and people that just annoy the heck out of me about it. But afew years later i moved and switched doctors. And my parents asked this doctor if my "habit" was something seriose. this time the doctor told us yes and that if i didnt start doing exrcises i would be very stiff and it would be hard for me too walk later on. But i started to not like this doctor and i wouldn't listen to him and i didnt do my exercises and i started to get very stiff. I wanted to listen to my old doctor and believe what she told me. I wanted it to just go away and for people to know that their is nothing wronge with me and i wasn't any different. but i wish i would have listened to the doctor that told me it was seriose because to this day i am always stiff and i read things about 5 and 6 year olds and how they need all this accuipment just to fix their feet and i think "what am i gonna have to do to fix my feet if i have been walking that way for 11 years and they have only been walking like that for 5 years and they need all that accuipment" So i reccomend if you know someone who walks like that too help them stop because one day it could be too late.





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I am twenty-three and I've toe walked all my life. I've never seen a doctor for it but I wish my mother had taken me to see someone because now my feet are the size of a child's from stunted growth (seriously my eight year old cousin and I wear the same shoe size), I still can't walk normally and I get these pins and needles sensations in my feet when I wake up in the morning. The backs of my ankles and calves are so stiff in the morning and by the end if the day they hurt. I have back pains pretty consistently after being on my feet for even a few hours and now I can't even afford to go see anyone for it.





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My daughter is 7 years old and has been walking on her top toes for a while now she did it as a child but does it all the time now it's become more noticeable now I'm more aware of it when I tell her to put her heal to the floor she does for a while but then continues on her tip toes........ What shall I do please help??





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My son is nearly 5 and has always tiptoed, he can when reminded ealk flat footed although this is usually only for a few steps. I have had sturdy boots for him and they didn't work, he's under a specialist at our local hospital, she has found nothing wrong with him, his muscles and bone structure are fine and motor skills etc are on track for his age. The doctor believes its a sensory thing ans he absorbs more 'information' from his surroundings by tiptoeing. I still remind him by now just saying 'toes' to walk 'normally' and he wears heavy school boots too....its something im hoping he just grow out of it!





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I have one baby of 2.5 years, but my child runs only on toe with the help of only me when i held her with my hand catching and even cannot stand alone and crawl only. Please suggest me to help my child.





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So my son is now going to be five yrs old an is still currently walking on his tippy toes. He will not walk whole foot to the floor since he was able to walk..I have asked his doctor they told me he would grow out of it..well thats when he was two an three an now hes going on five an still no change...what to do? Any suggestions on what anyone could think it could be.





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My son is six and is a toe-walker. Ask for a referral to physiotherapy. They gave us daily exercises and stretches to do with him. He has paediatric shoes that help to keep his heels on the floor. At the moment he has leg casts on to help stretch the tendons and reset his balance. Its the second time he's had them on and I'm hoping it will work this time! There is definitely help out there via physiotherapy so push your GP for a referral or change your GP.

hi im looking for some advise my 2 year old daughter is a very high tiptoe walker the specialist have tried physio,special boots plaster casts and nothing as brought her down any she as also had a mri scan ,blood tests to see if its genentic but nothing shown up now the specialist want to try co-careldopa which is to treat parkinsons disease i have googled this medication and it says not to be given to children and people under 18 as any 1 else been given this medication to treat tiptoe walking





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