What is tiptoe walking?
Normally, when a child walks, his heel should be the first thing to hit the ground. However, some kids like to walk on the tip of their toes instead. This is a problem that is easily missed by parents for many reasons.
Firstly, children that tiptoe generally do not have problems playing sports. Secondly, the child will generally stand on his heels on the ground, it is only when he starts walking that his heel never touches the ground.
Tiptoe walking is not a normal way to walk. It causes foot, ankle, knee and hips instability. Tiptoe walking makes your child more prone to falls, sprains, and development of postural problems. As a child grows, tiptoeing can get worse and cause pain in the foot, ankle, knee or lower back.
How to treat tiptoe walking?
Your podiatrist can treat tiptoe walking by applying the proper treatment for your child’s condition:
1. Supporting the heel
Your podiatrist can prescribe proper shoes and insoles like custom-made plantar orthotic in order to support the heel and ankle. This not only treats the tiptoe walking problem, but also improves the overall leg stability. By having more stability, we are preventing future ankle, knee and hip problems that can develop because of tiptoe walking.
2. Stretching the ankle
Tight ankles are highly associated with tiptoe walking. A child’s heel has trouble touching the ground if his calf muscles are too tight. Your podiatrist can prescribe at-home exercises adapted to your child’s age in order to regain some ankle movement.
How to treat tiptoe walking at home?
A child can tiptoe because of a habit. This is why it is very important to identify the problem early and help them outgrow this bad habit. Here are some things to try at home while waiting for your podiatric consultation.