You have a Gait Abnormality

Ross Hauser, MD

A Gait abnormality means you don’t walk right. It has many causes and as such causes many different types of pain. This article will examine joint instability and gait abnormality.

Do you have a question about Gait Abnormality and walking or running problems? Get help and information from our Caring Medical staff

Doctors at the University of California at San Francisco found that patients with Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) a disorder of the hip caused instability in not only the hip but the ankle as well by causing an altering in the gait. The patients favored their bad hip at the expense of the ankle. The ankle instability relayed instability back to the hip.1

Back in the hip, if one leg is shorter than the other, the hip joints will be stressed because the leg-length discrepancy causes an abnormal gait. The gait cycle is most efficient when the iliac crests (the top wings of the pelvis) are level. Unequal leg lengths cause the pelvis to move abnormally. This is evidenced by the waddling gait of someone with a hip problem. This waddling gait helps remove pressure on the painful hip.

Doctors at the University of Florida found that patients who underwent ACL reconstruction had gait abnormalities that lead to cartilage degeneration and osteoarthritis. So much so that the doctors called for new research into improving ACL reconstruction outcomes. 2

Not only can physical problems affect walking, but stress can as well. Doctors at the Wakayama Medical University in Japan wrote in the European spine journal that mice, when subject to psychological stress had more back pain and this caused gait abnormality.3

Gait Abnormality at the foot level

The most important factor in evaluating a person’s gait (walking cycle) is to observe the stability of the arch and the ability of the foot to spring the body forward. The most important arch in the foot is the medial arch. It is abnormal for the arch to collapse during the gait cycle or while at rest. This collapsing of the arch is known as flat feet, or pes planus. A collapsed arch indicates tissue breakdown. Supporting tissue is no longer able to elevate the inside of the foot.

The plantar fascia is the first tissue to be affected. Pain resulting from this weakened tissue is called plantar fasciitis. If the condition continues, a terrible thing will occur. The person will pay a visit to a podiatrist and receive a cortisone shot for the inflamed fascia. Cortisone will eventually weaken the fascia. If the fascia is not strengthened, a painful heel spur will result. Prolotherapy to strengthen the fascia is a superior treatment option.

In manyGait Abnormality cases of gait abnormality, treating the cause often improves the gait. Improve the gait, less stress and overuse of the hip, knee, ankle, foot and low back complex.

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.

Do you have a question about Gait Abnormality and walking or running problems? Get help and information from our Caring Medical staff

1 Samaan MA, Schwaiger BJ, Gallo MC, et al.  Joint Loading in the Sagittal Plane During Gait Is Associated With Hip Joint Abnormalities in Patients With Femoroacetabular Impingement. Am J Sports Med. 2016 Dec 1:363546516677727. doi: 10.1177/0363546516677727. [Pubmed] [Google Scholar]

2 Gao B, Cordova ML, Zheng NN. Three-dimensional joint kinematics of ACL-deficient and ACL-reconstructed knees during stair ascent and descent. Hum Mov Sci. 2012 Feb;31(1):222-35. doi: 10.1016/j.humov.2011.04.009. Epub 2011 Jul 27.

3 Fukui D, Kawakami M, Matsumoto T, Naiki M. Stress enhances gait disturbance induced by lumbar disc degeneration in rat. European Spine Journal. 2017 Aug 3:1-9. [Pubmed] [Google Scholar]

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