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Gait Dysfunction

What is Gait Dysfunction?

It refers to an abnormal pattern of walking, which may result from neurological and musculoskeletal conditions.

Can physiotherapy help people with gait dysfunction?

Yes. Physiotherapists play a vital role in helping people improve their gait. Your physiotherapist will work with you to develop a treatment plan that addresses your specific needs and goals.

What are the common causes of gait dysfunction?

  • Disorders involving the inner ear

  • Nervous system disorders such as Parkinson’s disease

  • Muscle diseases such as muscular dystrophy

  • Musculoskeletal abnormalities such as fractures

How does a person with gait dysfunction walk?

There are different types of abnormal walking depending on the cause of the abnormality.

  • A person with arthritis or a traumatic injury may walk with a limp, also known as antalgic gait

  • A person with injury to the cerebellum (a part of the brain) may walk with a wide base (feet wide apart type of walking)

  • A person with Parkinson’s disease may have short, shuffling walks

  • A person with foot drop may have a high steppage walk (lifting the leg as high up as possible before landing it on the ground) with the foot slapping on the ground as he/she walks

  • A person with vertigo, Meniere’s disease and labyrinthitis may have an unsteady walking often falling towards one side

  • A person with muscular dystrophy and myopathy may waddle while walking. He/she may walk on the toes while swaying side to side

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