Gait Disorders

Does your child walk up on her toes a lot, or walk with her toes pointed inward, or limp, or drag a foot when she walks?

Children don’t really begin walking like adults until they’re around three, and until then may display various immature gait patterns. This may include walking with flat feet, or walking with their arms up to help them balance. Many of these patterns are common and will correct themselves on their own as the child continues to develop.

Other gait disorders, though, can be the result of issues with the musculoskeletal, nervous, or vestibular (inner ear) systems. Otherwise healthy children may also have gait disorders persist to an unusual age, and the reason may be unknown.

How can I help my child with a gait disorder?

A physical therapist can help improve your child’s ability to walk safely and efficiently by addressing strength, range of motion, posture, alignment, balance and coordination. This will lay the foundation for a lifetime of comfortable walking, sports, and play.