Pokemon Go plus broken toe equals recovery?

My younger son has been walking on his toes since he was about 4. We have never been able to ascertain why he started it – was it just a habit, which then made him physically unable to walk on the flats of his feet? Or has he been physically unable to walk on the flats of his feet since he was 4?

People weren’t designed to walk on their toes. If you put too much pressure on any part of your body, it causes knock-on effects elsewhere.

Since the age of 8, when I took him to the doctor for some strange looking lumps on his toes (pedal piezogenic papules), we’ve been aware that the toe walking is causing problems. The word ‘operation’ has been mentioned several times by doctors and physios over the years.

Walking on his toes means his achilles is particularly tight and prone to injury. He’s had two periods of physio for his problems, one following a nasty bout of flu in 2012, which left him unable to walk. He had physio again last year, after an achilles injury which lasted from March until July. Earlier this year, he was forced to take a week off games lessons and rugby matches because the injury had reared its ugly head again.

He doesn’t help himself. He doesn’t do his physio exercises and he doesn’t wear the orthotic splints he’s supposed to wear in the evenings. When he’s injured, he doesn’t take enough time away from sport.

The reality is, he could end up having an operation at some point in the future.

But then something amazing happened.

He broke his toe.

Toe, Son, Broken toe

It’s not what most people would consider to be amazing. But if you’ve got a broken toe, you can’t walk on your toes. The discomfort of putting your feet down flat is nothing compared to the agony of putting all of your weight on a broken toe. So my son was forced to walk properly.

And, within a few days of breaking his toe, he was walking a LOT. Because there were Pokemon to be found. Walking miles and miles (up to 19 miles a day) on flat feet has forced his achilles to loosen up and also started to get him out of the habit of walking on his toes.

Could Pokemon Go plus broken toe equal recovery?

It seems like the most unlikely cure, but at the moment he is walking without pain or injury, despite the pounding he has been giving his legs and feet. Is he putting an end to long-term problems and the prospect of an operation?

I don’t know yet, but I’m certainly feeling more hopeful.


Son, Pokemon Go, Pokemon, Fitness, Walking, Running

There’s a Pokemon on the beach!

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Oh that’s good! I hope he carries on walking properly, that sounds like the perfect unexpected cure! I can’t imagine walking on your toes all the time, I’m not sure my balance would allow me to do that!

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    • I think anyone who isn’t used to walking on their toes would find it difficult. Unfortunately, my son has always found walking normally difficult! He still gets leg ache after a hard weekend of sport, but it’s usually pretty short-lived. x

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  2. Ouch for the broken toe but glad he’s walking properly again. I run up the stairs on my toes a lot but I don’t really walk on my toes. I’ve seen a few people I know do it and it looks so uncomfortable but they seem to find it normal!

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    • My son finds it perfectly normal, but it is quite unusual! I’m hoping we might have seen the end of it now and he can avoid operations in the future.

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  3. Gosh that really is amazing!! It would certainly be a relief for you if he carries on walking properly. Who would have thought Pokemon Go could be responsible for breaking a life-long habit?

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  4. Hi Sarah, my son who is now nineteen ha always been a toe walker and because of this his feet are deformed. And no amount of physio helped him. Neither did his night splints. We found out some years ago that he has hypotonia in his upper body and hypertonia in his lower part. He walks okay and can walk for miles too, but his sense of balance is all out…. You have got me thinking that maybe if he were to break a toe… Or maybe I could put some drawing pins in the front of his shoes!

    I hope that your sons broken toe is the answer to his recovery!


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