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