Toe walking (Tiptoeing) – Kinesiology tape

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Children who are starting to walk independently may start to walk on tiptoe in this first phase of development. This usually goes away by itself at about two years of age.

When does a baby start walking?

Babies start walking independently between 10 and 18 months, although this can happen earlier or later. On average, babies start walking independently from the 14th month onwards, which is often the time when you can tell if the child is walking on tiptoe. If this happens in the first 3-6 months after a child starts walking, this is a normal walking pattern. If a child is still (regularly) walking on toes around the age of three, it is advisable to have this investigated further.


What is examined in toe walking?

A congenital anomaly in the bones and/or joints is examined. This can be determined by means of an X-ray photo, or by a passive examination of the mobility of the ankle joint. If no abnormalities are found, the cause can be sought in the muscles, tendons and/or control by the nervous system. Tendons and muscles are too tight, joint capsule is stiff, or the control is disturbed, as in spasticity.

Toe walking out of habit

When there is no underlying cause for persistent toe walking, it is called habitual toe walking. This phenomenon is relatively common, although the cause is not known, it often occurs in several family members. A consultation with a paediatric physiotherapist is a good choice when toe walking persists. When walking on toes, the child does not experience pain. Shortened Achilles tendons can be a consequence of years of walking on toes, which can cause pain. When there is a shortened Achilles tendon, or the tension in the triceps surae is increased,  kinesiology taping can be used successfully. The complaints often disappear as soon as the child grows taller and heavier.

Instruction video: Taping the toes

Taping in toe walking

Measure the tape in the stretched position. Cut two thirds of the strip of tape into a Y shape. Apply the base of the tape under the foot without stretching. The client holds the foot in dorsal flexion so that the tape can run over the Achilles tendon. The two strips are then applied around the muscle belly of the gastrocnemius up to the origo. The tape has an immediate effect, especially in children, you often notice a difference during the treatment.

Please note that applications provided on our website are not clinically proven. All mentioned applications are based on extensive evaluation and case studies with licensed physiotherapists and/or other health professionals.

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