February 01, 2012,
A.B. asks from Holly Springs, NC on April 22, 2008
Child Who Walks on Their Tiptoes
I have a four year old daughter who walks on her tiptoes. She has done this since she began walking at 14 months. I have asked her doctor about this numerous times and he assures me that she will grow out of it. I am starting to get concerned that it is not something she will grow out of and that it is affecting her muscles. We have an appointment to visit with a pediatric orthopedic doctor next month to address this issue. She is a very active and very healthy child who participates in lots of sports and dancing. We are working with her to walk flat footed and she is trying very hard. I just wanted any feedback from other moms that may have experienced this as well. Thanks!
So What Happened?™
I just want to say thank you to all of the moms that responded in reference to my daughter walking on her tiptoes. We took her to an ortho doctor this week and he has decided that wearing braces from her knees down will be the best option for her. He feels that it could be a long term problem if she did not wear these. She has been fitted and we will now wait for them to arrive. It is stressful as we do not want her to be picked on by others her age but he feels that this will correct the problem and she may only need them for 6 months to a year. I would encourage any other parents who have children that are walking on their tiptoes to get it checked out. The doc said the earlier the better as we could have fixed this already! I just wanted to say thank you again for all of the wonderful advice. Hopefully this will put us on the road to recovery!
K.B. answers from Raleigh on April 24, 2008
I have a friend who's daughter did that, and she was diagnosed with a mild form of sensory integration disorder. My nephew has a more debilitaing form of it, so I am a little familiar with the disorder. Tip toe walking is just one symptom. Its worth ruling out.
S.S. answers from Nashville on April 23, 2008
It can be a problem if the child is not able to ever walk flat footed. The actual walking on the toes is only an issue when the heel cord is to tight that the child can not walk flat footed at all. So if she will never walk flat footed then you should be more concerned and I would get a second opinion. But if she just prefers to walk that way, then don't worry it will go away or she would be a great ballerina.
G.H. answers from Memphis on April 23, 2008
My middle child done the same. She walked on the knuckles of her toes and yes she did grow out of it. She is now 34yrs. old and sometimes tries to repeat this habit but with some pain LOL. Good luck
D.G. answers from Nashville on April 28, 2008
So glad to see this... My 9 year old does this & has for several years, though I don't remember it becoming a habit until the last few years. She didn't do it as a toddler or preschooler. It is kind of annoying though. It just looks silly! I'll yell out "Heels!" to remind her to drop them. She mainly does it when bare footed and I think it is a purely subconscious thing for her. I still remember a boy from my grade school days that walked on his toes- all the time. I just thought it looked goofy, and I don't know that it is all that great for the Achilles tendons.
S.P. answers from Charlotte on April 22, 2008
I am a physical therapist that has 2 daughters of my own 2 years old and 6 months old. It is common for children to do though they typically grow out of it by 4 years old. I would recommend that you insist on a pediatric physical therapy consultation. If you need a recomdation in the charlotte area i would be happy to help. My personal email is ____@____.com
Let me know.
R.H. answers from Clarksville on April 23, 2008
It sounds like your child may have too short of an akeles tendon. It could also be just too tight and need some daily stretching. My daughter went through it at that age too. The doc wanted to do botox shots, which works, but I didn't want to go to that extreme yet. We started daily exercises of stretching to tendon, a little at a time or it will hurt. We also put her in leg braces that went up the calf, couldn't see them under her pants. And with alot of prayer she just one day started walking right. She didn't need the braces or stretching ever again. If you don't get anywhere with the docs then think about the daily stretching. You will be able to tell if the tendon is too tight if your child has discomfort when you stretch it. God Bless!
K.D. answers from Raleigh on April 23, 2008
I just want to throw one other possibility out there. Everybody has given you great advice and one or more of them might be right.
But I went to a talk many years ago by Kelly Dorfman where she said toe walking could be a sign of an essential fatty acid deficiency.
What luck, I found someone's notes to that talk online:
Here is the part I was talking about:
She talked about essential fatty acid deficiency, some symptoms of which are: wax buildup in ears, restlessness, "permanent gooseflesh", "Albert Einstein
hair", toe walking, and excessive thirst. She recommends Total EFA by Health From the Sun, flaxseed oil, and Efalex Focus as replacements for the missing fatty acids. She says they rancidify quickly, so we should taste them every
other week to be sure they are still good.
J.L. answers from Memphis on April 23, 2008
My mother tells me I was at least 3 or 4 before I stopped walking on my toes. Now, I catch my daughter, almost 4, walking on her toes frequently. I agree with your doctor, she will eventually stop. If you are desperate, they make hard bottom soles for shoes for children that it might be difficult to tip-toe in. My mother-in-law insisted on buying my children some when they started walking, Striderite makes some for sure.
P.H. answers from Louisville on April 23, 2008
as far as I know, its totally normal for them to do that. LOTS of kids do that. Just about everyone I know has done it.
M.H. answers from Louisville on May 17, 2008
My daughter is almost three and has been walking on her toes since she started walking.....She has tethered cord syndrome and will be having surgery in cincinatti in a few months.... she also has a birth mark on her lower spine..... i would insist on an mri if you are still concerned
K. answers from Charlotte on April 22, 2008
Others indeed have had this issue recently.
Check out the post and replies here: