We take thousands of steps each and every day, which is why it’s so important to recognize the signs of a walking abnormality. The good news is that because we often don’t pay much attention to our gait on a normal day, it’s often easier to notice when something just doesn’t feel right with your stride. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at some of the more common walking abnormalities, and we discuss your treatment options for each.
Common Walking Problems
Here’s a look at five common types of gaits that suggest you may have an underlying issue.
Propulsive gait – This is categorized by a slouched and rigid posture where a person walks with their head and neck out in front of them.
Scissors gait – This type of gait involves walking with your legs bent slightly inward, and your knees and thighs may cross or hit each other, similar to the movement of a scissors.
Spastic gait – This gait issue is identified by a person who walks stiffly and who drags one or more feet while walking.
Steppage gait – This involves a stride where the toes point downward, causing the toes to scrape on the ground when walking.
Waddling gait – This gait is categorized by waddling from side to side when walking.
A limp is also considered a gait issue that could involve one or more of the above gait patterns.
Causes and Treating Gait Issues
Gait issues can be caused by a number of different issues, some of which can be treated by a foot specialist, and others by your primary care physician or another specialist. Some common underlying conditions that a foot specialist can help with that can lead to the above gait problems include:
Other causes include stroke, cerebral palsy, inner ear infections and other birth defects.
If you’re experiencing any gait problems, head to Dr. Silverman’s office. He’ll begin with a physical examination and may take some imaging tests to get to the bottom of your issue. He’ll also ask about your symptoms and may have you perform some walking tests. Once he has an understanding of what’s going on, he’ll walk you through your treatment options.
Treatment comes in many forms depending on your underlying diagnosis. For some, treatment includes rest, physical therapy and a commitment to an overall healthy lifestyle. Others are best treated with antibiotics or a minimally invasive surgical operation. Again, it depends on the root cause of your condition, but many problems respond well with active treatment. For a more personalized treatment plan, head into Dr. Silverman’s office for an evaluation.