Navigation Links
'Toe-Walking' More Common in Kids With Mental Woes: Study
Date:7/23/2012

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- As many as one in 20 children may predominantly walk on their toes in early childhood. Youngsters who have developmental delays or neuropsychiatric disorders, however, are more likely to walk on their toes, according to a new study from Sweden.

Toe-walking is a condition where children walk on their toes instead of using a typical gait. Certain conditions, such as cerebral palsy, can cause toe-walking, according to background information in the study. But, sometimes, toe-walking occurs in children who appear to be healthy otherwise. This is called idiopathic, or habitual, toe-walking.

In the Swedish study, at 5.5 years old, more than 40 percent of children with developmental delays or neuropsychiatric disorders, such as an autism spectrum disorder, were currently or had been toe-walkers.

Although the number of children with "a neuropsychiatric disorder in this study is too small for conclusions," the authors reported, the study "confirms earlier findings that toe-walking has a high prevalence among children with a cognitive [or mental] disorder."

And, they noted that toe-walking in otherwise healthy children often resolves on its own. By 5.5 years, "more than half of the children have spontaneously ceased to walk on their toes," they concluded.

Results of the study were released online July 23, in advance of publication in the August print issue of Pediatrics.

To get an idea of the prevalence of toe-walking, and the natural course of the condition, Drs. Pahr Engstrom and Kristina Tedroff of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm reviewed data on 5.5-year-old children living in Blekinge County, Sweden.

There were almost 1,500 youngsters included in the study, including 35 children who were seen at a clinic for children with special needs. Seventeen of these children had developmental delays or neuropsychiatric disorders.

Thirty (20 boys and 10 girls) of the otherwise healthy children were current toe-walkers. That represented about 2 percent of all the children. Another 40 children (22 boys and 18 girls) had previously walked on their toes. That means about 5 percent of the county's 5.5-year-old children had a history of toe-walking.

Most of the children, but not all, started walking on their toes. Eleven children developed toe-walking during their first year of walking, according to the study.

Of the 17 children with developmental delays or neuropsychiatric disorders, seven boys (41 percent) had a history of toe-walking. About half of these children started walking on their toes. In two children, toe-walking started during the first year of walking, and one youngster started toe-walking during the second year of walking, the researchers found.

Left untreated, toe-walking can cause damage to the structures in the legs, ankles and heels. It can also create a social stigma, according to the study authors.

Commenting on the study, Dr. Pete Richel, chief of pediatrics at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco, N.Y., said: "Although many of these cases are labeled idiopathic, which means without a known cause, as clinicians and parents, I think we have to consider whether there is an organic cause that may be so subtle it's not always evident." He said some toe-walking children may have sensory issues that don't meet the level for diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder, but still might benefit from treatment.

Occupational therapist Chantell D'Avignon, from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., added that "every child is different and every treatment is different, but early intervention is key. The brain from zero to 3 years old is much more pliable."

Colleen Harper, a physical therapist and director of developmental, rehabilitative and child life services at La Rabida Children's Hospital in Chicago, agreed that early treatment is important.

"Many issues are easy to fix at 18 months, but very hard at 5 years," said Harper.

For example, kids who walk on their toes often walk with their stomachs forward, and part of treatment has to include moving that center of gravity back. And, the longer that posture has been practiced, the longer it will likely take to correct.

Harper noted that while the Swedish study didn't address this cause, in the United States, spending too much time in a baby walker is a common source of toe-walking. She said that pediatricians and physical therapists advise parents not to use these devices because they're generally unsafe, and toe-walking can be an unintended consequence.

All three experts advised parents to bring up toe-walking with their child's pediatrician, who can determine if further treatment is necessary. And, Richel pointed out that while children with developmental delays and neuropsychiatric disorders may have higher rates of toe-walking, toe-walking on its own doesn't necessarily mean your child has one of these conditions.

Because while the study uncovered an association between toe-walking and developmental delays or neuropsychiatric disorders, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

More information

Learn more about toe-walking in children from the Seattle Children's Hospital.

SOURCES: Colleen E. Harper, P.T., director, developmental, rehabilitative and child life services, La Rabida Children's Hospital, Chicago; Chantell D'Avignon, O.T.R., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Pete Richel, M.D., chief, pediatrics, Northern Westchester Hospital, Mt. Kisco, N.Y.; August 2012, Pediatrics


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Texting in College Classrooms Common, Distracting
2. Recovery from propofol anesthesia may be sped by use of common stimulant
3. Long-term neuropsychological impairment is common in acute lung injury survivors
4. Overuse Injuries Common Among Female College Athletes
5. Common Blood Pressure Drug Safe for Heart Failure: Study
6. Test links strains of common parasite to severe illness in US newborns
7. Common Plastics Chemical Might Boost Diabetes Risk
8. Off-Label Drug Use Appears Common
9. Global, common approach to pharmaceutical supply chain integrity the focus of workshop
10. Slow-growing babies more likely in normal-weight women; Less common in obese pregnancies
11. Common Blood Pressure Drugs May Not Cut Colon Cancer Risk
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
'Toe-Walking' More Common in Kids With Mental Woes: Study
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... 06, 2016 , ... Experimentation involving human stem cells (HSCs) ... to its potential for revolutionizing human disease treatment. There are multiple HSC platforms ... cells (hiPSCs). , Both platforms have distinct advantages and disadvantages, but what ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... December 06, 2016 , ... ... the much-anticipated HydroFX for Water®. This first-of-its-kind water-soluble powder supplement has a ... world’s most powerful antioxidants, molecular hydrogen, HydroFX for Water transforms every day ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 06, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently ... Mobility Scooters . , Mobility Scooters give freedom to people who need help ... Still others may be facing a long period of rehabilitation after an illness or ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... ... December 05, 2016 , ... "FCPX Overlay Glare is ... natural lighting effect without heavy rendering or complicated compositing," said Christina Austin - CEO ... to create an organic spectrum of lights that simulates the look of a glare. ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... ... December 05, 2016 , ... ... and relationship-marketing firm, announced today that nominations will be accepted from December ... (ISE®) Central Awards. , Awards include the Information Security Executive® of the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/5/2016)... CRANBURY, N.J. , Dec. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... pharmaceutical company, today presented data from two Phase ... poster sessions at the 58th annual meeting of ... San Diego, California . The two ... patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and T-cell ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... Dec. 5, 2016   Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ... from a Phase 2 clinical study of sotagliflozin, a ... collaboration with JDRF, the leading global organization funding type ... Phase 2 clinical trial, which randomized a total of ... once-daily 400 mg dose of sotagliflozin compared to a ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... 5, 2016  Sharn Anesthesia Inc. announced today that ... distribution partner for Salter Labs.  The company also received ... recognition of outstanding sales performance. Salter Labs ... anesthesia care, including the market gold standard ECO 2 ... distributor of the Parker Flex-Tip® Endotracheal Tube, which is ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: