Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dr. Manolian Weighs in on Toe Walking

Recently, a parent was concerned about her child's toe walking tendencies. The child was being evaluated by a pediatrician, and the behavior fell within the normal range at this age (3 years). We thought it might be helpful to get a podiatrist's opinion as well. Here is Dr. Manolian's response on the topic:

Toe walking is very common in young children and early walkers. Most children usually grow out of it. One of the causes can be due to a tight Achilles tendon. It is always important to seek medical evaluation from a physician who can determine the root cause. They may suggest exercise or physical therapy if there is a physical cause for the toe walking.

In addition to stretching exercises, many children who toe walk benefit from arch supports, or comfort insoles, that will produce plantar (bottom of the foot) contact, which tends to enhance normal walking patterns. If the child resists use, try to introduce the insoles gradually.

Toe walking is common in young children. Arch supports help by giving plantar/bottom of foot contact, which enhances normal walking patterns