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An abnormal or unsteady gait can be defined as an abnormality in walking that is caused by a painful condition such as back pain or a neurological condition. An abnormal gait can occur as a result of a temporary condition, such as an injury or infection, or it might be an indicator of a long-term problem.
There are a number of symptoms that are associated with an abnormal gait, and these can range from serious to minor injuries. If you are walking with gait abnormalities this is usually an inefficient way to walk that uses lots of energy and can put stress and strain on joints and muscles.
The main symptoms of gait abnormalities are:
The best way to avoid developing an abnormal gait is by having your foot assessed by a professional before partaking in any form of exercise, particularly running. Your doctor or physiotherapist can diagnose a gait abnormality by observing the way you walk. If necessary he or she can order tests and an imaging scan to check the function of your nerves or muscles, which will help determine if there may be a structural problem causing your condition.
Some causes of gait cannot be avoided, however, as these walking abnormalities may be inherited or caused by an underlying disease or injury. Other causes of gait abnormalities include; leg injuries, bone fractures, shin splints. Your muscles, bones, or nerves in the legs may be affected by gait abnormalities. These abnormalities can be present in one part of the leg or it can affect the whole leg, such as the knee and ankle.
Here at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic, we treat walking abnormalities by assessment and treatment sessions. During these treatment sessions you will learn exercises that are designed to strengthen your muscles and correct the way you walk. We also deal with abnormalities in running patterns. Check out our ‘Go Running’ campaign for more information. Contact us here if you would like more information on this topic.