Toe walking is common among toddlers as they are learning to walk, especially during the second year of life. This often goes away naturally by age 3. Occasional toe walking should not be a cause for concern.
A consultation with a paediatrician or a podiatrist should be sought for children who continues to walk on their toes past the age of 3. Persistent toe walking may be linked to medical conditions such as cerebral palsy, muscle weakness disorders, autism, or other neurological disorders; or they can be just due to delayed development and excessively tight calves.
Treatment should be tailored based on the cause and severity of the condition of toe walking. Mild toe walking should be monitored to see if the child outgrows the condition with passive stretching, massage and desensitisation by increasing sensory feedback to the heels. Splinting and orthotic therapy can be considered for mild to moderate cases. Surgical intervention will need to be considered if the tiptoeing gait is caused by severe neuro-muscular disorders. You will need to consult a specialist for further assessment and management.
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