We are often asked about unusual walking habits of our younger patients. “What does it mean if…?”, “Is it a problem that…?”. We always take these questions seriously because every child develops differently, and sometime these questions will highlight an underlying or persistent issue.
So, what about toe walking? Is it actually a problem if your child is a toe walker? Typically, the heel-toe pattern of walking develops by 24-42 months of age, and it is not unusual to see a 12-month-old only toe walking. (Morozova, 2017) The question becomes more relevant the older the child gets. Persistent toe walking beyond the age of 3 years can be a sign of structural abnormalities, or even conditions such as cerebral palsy. (Ruzbarsky, 2016)
Now you may be asking, what can be done? Well, it depends on what is causing the toe walking in the first place, as well as the age of the child. If it is truly idiopathic (no known cause), then manual therapy and stretching may well be the answer. In more severe cases, casting and surgery may be needed. (Ruzbarsky, 2016)
The take home message; toe walking is considered normal up to the age of 12 months and it would be expected to gradually decrease and disappear by the age of 3. It can be seen in up to 2% of normally developing children at the age of 5 ½ years. (Ruzbarsky, 2016)
If you or someone close to you has a habit of toe walking, then we encourage you to ask questions about it.
Morozova, O. M., Chang, T. F., & Brown, M. E. (2017). Toe walking: when do we need to worry?. Current problems in pediatric and adolescent health care, 47(7), 156-160.
Ruzbarsky, J. J., Scher, D., & Dodwell, E. (2016). Toe walking: causes, epidemiology, assessment, and treatment. Current opinion in pediatrics, 28(1), 40-46.
In one of our recent blogs, we started talking about the rates of depression in pregnancy and post-natal depression including some of the implications of depression during and after pregnancy. Some of these risks included pre-term delivery, preeclampsia (high blood pressure), and birth difficulties. (1)
Following on from this, a recent study conducted in Victoria looked to see if it were possible to predict sleep problems for infants in the first year of life. They concluded that poorer prepartum and postpartum maternal mental and physical health; including poorer physical function, increased emotional problems, and decreased energy and vitality; were associated with reports of persistent severe infant sleep problems. (2)
Furthermore, maternal depression and anxiety has been associated with poorer right white frontal microstructure in 1-month old infants. This area of the brain is important for self-regulation needed for sleep. (2)
Cook et al. states: “Maternal prenatal stress alters melatonin levels, reducing generation of the circadian rhythm in the foetal adrenal gland, which is vital for the development of infant sleep, and potentially limiting foetal growth. Maternal prenatal depression raises free cortisol levels which in turn increases infant cortisol levels. Higher infant cortisol can result in poorer infant sleep quality and more frequent waking.” (2)
This does become a vicious cycle, as your child sleeps less, so do you. Lack of sleep can increase fatigue, depression and anxiety, which promotes the poorer sleep patterns in infants! So, for expecting mums, planning mums, and new mums; getting on top of your health will make a difference on the outcomes not just for you, but also for your infant and his or her sleep.
 Leung, B. M., & Kaplan, B. J. (2009). Perinatal depression: prevalence, risks, and the nutrition link—a review of the literature. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 109(9), 1566-1575.
 Cook, F., Conway, L., Gartland, D., Giallo, R., Keys, E. and Brown, S., 2019. Profiles and Predictors of Infant Sleep Problems Across the First Year. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics.
Neck pain is a leading cause of disability in adults, reported in up to 20% of adults in Australia., For the majority of these people, acute episodes of neck pain will usually resolve within 6-8 weeks under conservative management, but in 10-34% of people pain can become chronic in nature. Chronic pain is characterised by pain that has been occurring longer than 3 months.
Studies have found that individuals experiencing neck pain can have altered joint position sense in the upper extremities, changes in balance and changes in the ability to complete mental cognitive tasks.
A particular study by Haavik and Murphy found that asymptomatic people with a history of neck pain had reduced elbow joint position sense accuracy compared to those with no history of any neck complaints. Furthermore they found that adjusting dysfunctional cervical segments in people with neck pain can improve their upper limb joint position sense accuracy. This is extremely relevant to our position sense which is very much related to our sense of balance, although more research needs to be carried out on this.
Chiropractic care combined with rehabilitation exercises and exercise alone are effective in reducing functional disability and pain in patients with chronic non-specific neck pain.
At Sprouting Health we take a thorough history to gain a clear understanding of the onset, distribution, nature of pain and associated features as well as an efficient and comprehensive physical assessment to decipher the best management plan on a case by case basis to help achieve your desired goals.
Are you currently living your life fully as you would choose? If not, are you actively involved in the process of creating it? Are you the victor or victim? Are you feeling blocked from reaching your dreams and full potential?
What is it that is stopping you?
How is this blockage impacting your health and how is your health contributing to you being or feeling stuck?
It’s time to ask “Am I Feeling Blocked?” and then clarify the events or individuals that seem to be blocking you from expressing your full potential. Only when you see these issues more clearly can you take the necessary actions to liberate yourself and achieve living your best life now.
Here are some Healing Hints
1. Determine to live more fully in the moment of NOW!
2. “When I am anxious it is because I am living in the future. When I am depressed it is because I am living in the past.” – Unknown
3. Realize that you have the potential to more fully create the life you want to live. Dream the dream. Clarify the vision. Plot the course. Set the goals. Discipline yourself to take committed action each day toward your goals and vision. Practice gratitude everyday.
4. Become aware and acknowledge that you are stuck if you really are. Even if only partially, and in truth who isn’t to some degree?
5. Commit to correcting your underlying condition if part of your blockage is pain or some other illness challenge. As much as possible solve the real problem rather than masking the symptoms with medication or some diversion.
Celebrate each small victory along the way and be glad and grateful for each day of your life. At Sprouting Health we love helping you create your best life possible!
Blogs by the team at Sprouting Health