Toddlers find it amusing to walk on their toes and may walk quite a distance if not reprimanded by adults. In some cases, the toddler may outgrow this habit. A firm high cut shoe that does not bend in the middle can help the toddler overcome this habit. In case the efforts may not yield the desired changes, visit a doctor or take medical guidance at the earliest. Toe walking is also a health condition suffered by a large percentage of toddlers. In the absence of medical guidance:
- They will be unable to walk in the correct manner for a long time.
- It may lead to chronic problems like pain in the hip and backache later in life.
Researchers in the physiotherapy department of Monash Medical centre have devised exercises that help to lengthen the calf muscles of toddlers who have been toe walking all their lives.
Steps for this simple exercise are:
Step One: Stand your toddler up on an inclined plane.
Step Two: Let the child walk up the plane on toes.
Step Three: Now its time to turn back and walk down using the calf muscles.
These are called ‘calf muscle-lengthening exercises’ in medical parlance.
According to Dr Paul Percival at the Monash Medical Centre, “The calf muscles of toe walking children tend to progressively shorten as they grow, until they are unable to put their heels on the ground.
For them to walk with a heel strike, rather than on their toes, their calf muscles need to be lengthened.”