Tiptoe Walking Children

Tiptoe walking children

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Tiptoe Walking Children – What is it? Its causes, and treatment


Walking on the toes or the balls of the feet, also known as toe walking, is fairly common in children who are just beginning to walk. Most children outgrow it. However, tiptoe walking sometimes indicates an underlying medical condition.

Toe walking is when a child walks on the toes or ball of the foot without the heel or other parts of the foot coming in contact with the floor. Toe walking is common in children, and usually occurs until the ages of 2 or 3 years old. But if toe walking continues past 3 years of age, it’s often no more than a harmless habit the child has taken to—idiopathic in medical terms. Children who persistently toe walk may develop tightness in their ankles and benefit from treatments that stretch the calf muscle.

What Causes Tiptoe Walking?

Toe walking can by symptomatic of an underlying physical issue, neurological impairment, or sensory processing disorder. Some of these include the following:

  • Short Achilles tendon
  • Autism
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Other nerve or muscle disorders

Treating Tiptoe Walking

Children who simply toe walk out of habit do not require treatment. They usually outgrow the habit eventually. However, if your pediatric podiatrist determines a physical issue is causing the toe walking, treatment may include:

  • Physical therapy exercises to strengthen and stretch muscles in the legs and feet
  • Leg braces or a splint to correct gait
  • Custom orthotics
  • Serial below-the-knee casting to properly align the toes to the shin
  • Surgery

Early intervention is important to prevent habitual toe walking in order to minimise the development of a stiff ankle and an enlarged forefoot.

Does your child has these symptoms? Have him/her check with one of  our podiatrist.
Schedule an appointment here or you may call us at 44 (0) 207 101 4000. 📞



We hope you have a specTOEcular day! 👣☀️

-The Chelsea Clinic and Team


Read our article about sever’s disease here https://www.thechelseaclinic.uk/severs-disease/

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Paola Ash at the Chelsea Clinic

At The Chelsea clinic we have a very specific skill set with regards the foot and ankle. Pleased to offer a bespoke service which is tailored to the individual. With over 20 years experience in the Fitness and Healthcare industry we are registered and qualified with the Health Care Professions Council, the College of Podiatry and the General Osteopathic Council.