Treatment of Gait Abnormality
A gait abnormality is defined as unusual and uncontrollable problems with walking. While many different types of gait abnormalities are produced unconsciously, most, although not all, are due to some type of physical malfunction. Some gait abnormalities are so characteristic that they have descriptive names, such as propulsive gait, scissors gait, spastic gait, steppage gait and waddling gait.
How does gait abnormality develop?
An abnormal gait is often due to disease or abnormality in one of many different areas of the body. These can include vestibular disorders involving the inner ear, which is responsible for maintaining balance, and damage of which can result in vertigo; central nervous system disorders such as multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy; spinal cord abnormalities; peripheral nerve diseases; degenerative muscle diseases such as muscular dystrophy, myotonic dystrophy and myositis; neurodegenerative illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease; skeletal abnormalities and diseases; arthritis; foot conditions such as plantar warts, bunions, ingrown toenails and pressure ulcers; and toxic reactions involving alcohol, drugs and allergies. Other common causes, many of which may be temporary, include trauma, fractures, hemophilia, immunization, tight or uncomfortable shoes, shin splints, an infection, tendonitis or torsion of the testis. Leg length and orientation at the hip (turned in or out slightly) are another cause of gait abnormality. In fact, for most individuals, both legs are not the same, a condition that is especially pronounced if one of the legs was broken during childhood.
What are the symptoms of gait abnormality?
Symptoms of gait abnormality are an abnormal walk such as a stooped, rigid posture, with the head and neck bent forward; legs flexed slightly at the hips and knees, giving the appearance of crouching; knees and thighs hitting or crossing in a scissors-like movement; a stiff, foot-dragging walk caused by one-sided, long-term, muscle contraction; or a distinctive duck-like walk.
Modern medicine’s approach to gait abnormality
In many cases of gait abnormality, treating the cause often improves the gait. For example, gait abnormalities due to a trauma to part of the leg will improve as the leg heals. In the meantime, recommendations for home care, exercises and other therapy may be recommended to avoid further health issues. However, the root cause of all cases of gait abnormality, such as those that involve different leg lengths and orientation at the hips, are not properly addressed by traditional modern medical treatments.
The natural medicine approach to gait abnormality
A better approach to treating gait abnormality that is not directly linked to a specific cause is to get at the root cause of the problem. Most of the time the condition is due to muscle weakness because of an abnormal joint plagued by a ligament injury or weakness, such as could be the case with osteoarthritis. When ligaments are loose or weakened, the muscles in the area also weaken as they try to avoid movement in the affected joint and atrophy or waste away. Prolotherapy treatments in the affected area, as well as muscle strengthening exercises and supplements will strengthen the joint and the muscles, and the gait abnormality will eventually subside.
Prolotherapy for gait abnormality
Gait abnormality may be treated in a number of different ways, depending on the cause. However, muscle weakness due to joint weakness appears to be the most common, and Prolotherapy is a great treatment to consider. It is the safest and most effective natural medicine treatment to strengthen tendons, ligaments and cartilage, and thereby the surrounding muscles for a variety of chronic pain conditions. Prolotherapy stimulates a person’s own body to repair surrounding ligaments, tendons, and other soft tissue in a treated area.
Alternative causes and treatments of gait abnormality
Although muscle weakness is the most common cause of gait abnormality, it could have any number of other causes. For example, it could be due to stroke. In this case, natural medicine treatments would include thinning the blood and increasing the circulation. Nerve injury, which could be due to heavy metal poisoning, is another possibility. Herbal supplements for nerve repair, such as the B vitamins and alpha lipoic acid, would be recommended, in addition to some other natural medicine therapies. With nerve injury, tests may reveal that the patient’s blood sugar levels are too high. If this is the case, he or she is put on the high-protein Hauser Diet.