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Gait disorders

Chiropractic CHIROfamily

Gait disorders

Walking may seem to be an uncomplicated activity. However, there are many systems of the body, such as strength, coordination, and sensation, that work together to allow a person to walk with what is considered a normal gait.

When one or more of these interacting systems is not working smoothly, it can result in abnormal gait or walking abnormality.

“Gait” means the way a person walks. Abnormal gait or gait abnormality occurs when the body systems that control the way a person walks do not function in the usual way.

In some cases, gait disorders may clear up on their own. In other cases, a gait disorder may be permanent. In either case, physical therapy can help improve a person’s gait and reduce any uncomfortable symptoms.

Gait disorders are categorized as one of five types based on the symptoms or appearance of an individual’s walk.

Spastic gait

Spastic gait occurs when a person drags his or her feet while walking. This type can also make someone appear to be very stiff when walking.

Scissors gait

A person whose legs bend inward will often have a scissors gait. With this type, a person’s legs cross and may hit each other while walking. The crisscross motion may resemble scissors opening and closing.

Steppage gait

Steppage gait occurs when a person’s toes point towards the ground while walking. Often, the toes will scrape against the ground as the person steps forward.

Waddling gait

As the name suggests, a person with a waddling gait moves from side to side when walking. Waddling involves taking short steps as well as swinging the body.

Propulsive gait

Propulsive gait is when a person walks with his or her head and neck pushed forward. It can appear as though the person is rigidly holding a slouched position.

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