What does idiopathic toe walking mean?

What does idiopathic toe walking mean?

In the vast majority of cases, however, persistent toe walking is idiopathic, which means that the exact cause is not known. Older children who continue to toe walk may do so simply out of habit or because the muscles and tendons in their calves have become tighter over time.

How do you fix idiopathic toe walking?


  1. Physical therapy. Gentle stretching of the leg and foot muscles might improve your child’s gait.
  2. Leg braces or splints. Sometimes these help promote a normal gait.
  3. Serial casting.
  4. OnabotulinumtoxinA.
  5. Surgery.

What does it mean when a child always walks on their toes?

Most Children Outgrow Toe Walking Toe Walking is fairly common in children just learning to walk but is something most children outgrow. Children who continue to walk on their tiptoes or ball of their feet past their toddler years frequently do it simply out of habit.

How common is idiopathic toe walking?

Background. Idiopathic Toe Walking (ITW) is present in children older than 3 years of age still walking on their toes without signs of neurological, orthopaedic or psychiatric diseases. ITW has been estimated to occur in 7% to 24% of the childhood population.

Is idiopathic toe walking genetic?

Idiopathic toe walking affects between 5% and 12% of healthy children and researchers don’t know its causes. There may be a genetic cause as it is often seen in multiple family members. There are also other features often observed in children with this gait type.

Is toe walking linked to autism?

Toe walking has been linked to autism spectrum disorders, which affect a child’s ability to communicate and interact with others.

How do occupational therapists reduce toe walking?

Sit on scooter board and propel self forward using heels. Hold a wall sit. Stand on a balance board. Warm up by marching or stomping feet, then walk across different surfaces (i.e. grass, gravel, sand), paint a picture, or ice skate with shaving cream while barefoot.