Toe Walking

This is a forward
Toe walking is quite common in young children, age 3 and younger; but toe walking, especially in children 5 years and older, is often associated with neurological immaturity. Many parents and professionals are not aware of the various interventions used to treat toe walking. The following interventions are listed from least to most invasive.
Physical exercises are sometimes used to stretch out the tendon in order to reduce toe walking, but this treatment has had minimal success.
A dysfunctional vestibular system, a common problem in autism, may be responsible for toe walking. The vestibular system provides the brain with feedback regarding body motion and position. It may be possible to reduce or eliminate toe walking by providing the person with therapeutic vestibular stimulation (e.g., being swung on a glider swing).
Toe walking may be directly or indirectly related to a visual-vestibular problem.
 Active Range of Motion
Have child stand supported/unsupported without shoes on dynamic surface. The dyna-disc, incline wedge, and wobble board are all great tools! As child shifts body weight to maintain balance, the child will experience an active stretch of the affected musculature.
Have child walk on dynamic surface without shoes. Some great options are: the wedge ramp, foam balance beam, and tactile stepping stones! This will also help promote active stretch as well as encourage intrinsic plantar muscle activation, as child will be recruiting these smaller muscles to assist with balance.
Animal walks are helpful to encourage active range of motion while still having fun!
Bear Walk (with hands and feet on floor, knees not contacting surface)
Crab Walk (start in bridge position, keeping bottom off floor, moving forward or backward using hands and feet to propel)
Frog Jump (start in deep squat, encourage full foot contacting surface during jumps)
Penguin Walk (with heels contacting floor and toes up)
Sensory Integration Strategies
Joint compressions Vibratory input encourage barefoot exploration of different surfaces (sand at beach, grass outside, rubber mat at gym, hardwood floors).Use of tactile material inserts in shoe heavier shoes/high tops with ankle cup to control foot alignment work boots, rain boots, roller skates all encourage downward input! These are great footwear options-functional and fun!  Use of auditory input like Kick Spots to encourage heel strike.Custom made Grippy Socks! Proper shoe selection can make a big impact on toe walking as well
Posted in Occupational Therapy on March 25 at 02:38 PM

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