Skip to main content

3 Reasons Not to Ignore Abnormal Gait

3 Reasons Not to Ignore Abnormal Gait

Your gait is the pattern of your walk. When you develop a problem with that pattern, it’s called a gait disturbance. It’s often an indication of a physical condition. 

At Dr. Louis Keppler & Associates, our expert providers help people who have gait disturbances. A variety of health issues, including arthritisknee painjoint problems, and many others, can lead to a change in how you walk. Because so many of the conditions that lead to a gait disturbance are serious, it’s important to talk to an expert instead of ignoring the problem. 

Walking is complicated

If you stop and think about everything that happens when you walk, it’s really amazing. Your brain and nervous system have to send the proper signals, your muscles and joints respond accordingly, your vascular system makes sure you have the oxygen you need, and all your senses are at work, too. Walking across the room requires all these different systems to work in concert with one another!

Once you think about what’s involved in walking, it’s easier to understand why a problem walking could be a big issue. Researchers have divided gait abnormalities into different categories, including: 

Each of these different gait abnormalities can be caused by problems with different bodily systems. For example, arthritis of the spine, hip, or knee could cause antalgic gait, and both a shuffling gait and a propulsive gait are often associated with Parkinson’s disease. 

Don’t delay treatment

There are a few different reasons you should talk to your doctor if you notice you aren’t walking in the way you usually do. 

Risk of Injury

You’re at a greater risk of injuring yourself either because your balance is affected or because your body isn’t responding in the way you expect it should. 

Earlier treatment = better outcomes

If you have an underlying condition such as multiple sclerosis or a vitamin deficiency, which are both associated with gait abnormality, your outcome is likely to be better if you get treatment. 

Additional problems

Finally, getting help with an abnormal gait can help prevent other issues such as a muscle imbalance. There’s also the possibility that being unable to walk comfortably could negatively impact your overall health leading to issues like heart disease, or depression. 

Correcting a gait abnormality

As you might expect, the treatment for gait abnormality depends on what happens when you walk and what’s causing the problem. If you have an ataxic gait because you’re intoxicated, sobering up solves the problem—but if you have an ataxic gait because you take anti-seizure medication or you’ve had a stroke, the treatments are quite different.

Talking to a highly trained expert is an important part of getting the right treatment, whether that ends up being physical therapy, using a mobility device, or getting treatment for an underlying condition. Schedule your appointment at Dr. Keppler & Associates today, and begin the process of finding out why your walk has changed. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

 Understanding the Different Categories of Arthritis

The term arthritis is a general description of diseases that affect your joints, and more than 100 such diseases have been identified. Understanding the category and type of arthritis you have is important when it comes to treating it. 
 What Are the Treatment Options for Scoliosis?

What Are the Treatment Options for Scoliosis?

If your child has been diagnosed with scoliosis, you likely have many questions, especially about effective treatments. In this post, we discuss what kinds of treatments are available and under what conditions they are usually recommended.

Is Spinal Stenosis Ever Reversible?

You’ve been diagnosed with spinal stenosis. You’re committed to doing everything your doctor suggests. Is it possible to reverse your condition and regain the ability to move without pain?

How to Manage Hand Pain at Work

You probably don’t think about how amazing your hands are—until they hurt. Hand pain certainly has the potential to disrupt your life, from making it a struggle to button your shirt or to perform your job.
I Have Chronic Back Pain. Do I Have Arthritis?

I Have Chronic Back Pain. Do I Have Arthritis?

If you’re of a certain age, and your back starts—and keeps on—hurting, you may wonder if it could be arthritis. Understanding the underlying cause of your back pain is one step in learning to manage it.