Gait Dysfunction & Abnormalities
Gait, limp or walking pattern is a complex activity involving most parts of the body. Our gait varies according to our individual anatomy, our age and the speed at which we walk. Gait abnormalities have been shown to predict functional decline in the elderly and are often the result of multiple causes. Gait dysfunctions and abnormalities in the elderly often result in falls and disability. Other conditions that commonly see gait abnormalities include those with diseases such as Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis and Cerebral Palsy.
Pain, muscle weakness, joint stiffness and nervous system diseases can result in abnormal gait patterns. For a full list of Foot Related injuries please click here.
There are many normal age related changes that happen which have an effect on our walking. Strength, sensory functions, balance, range of movement and flexibility all decline as we grow older. This can result in compensatory responses and put a person at an increased risk of falls.
An antalgic gain is related to pain, where a person avoids certain movements. Typical features include: limited range, unable to weight bear, a limp, slower speed and shorter steps. This type of walking pattern is often seen as a result of trauma, Osteoarthritis and Pelvic girdle pain.
Gait and mobility are vital for the maintenance of a person’s independence. Research has shown that Physiotherapy interventions can improve balance and gait in the elderly and a variety of different diseases. Therefore, it is vital that you are assessed by a trained Physiotherapist, so that treatment can be commenced.
After assessing a person’s gait, our Chartered Physiotherapists will plan an individually tailored rehabilitation programme which may include activities to strengthen muscles, increase range of movement and relieve pain as well as providing walking re-education.
They will also advise and show the person how to use appropriate walking aids such as crutches, walking sticks and walking frames.
Physiotherapy is used to help a person learn how to walk again following a disease or injury or to keep them mobile if they have irreversible problems affecting their walking pattern. Research has shown that Physiotherapy can help a person improve their walking which can help a person increase or maintain their independence.
Our Physiotherapists have extensive clinical experience in gait analysis and in the treatment of foot conditions.
Our team of Chartered Physiotherapists also work with children with walking difficulties, such as those with cerebral palsy. They are all university educated and insured, so you know that you are in safe hands.