There are numerous possibilities that may cause an abnormal gait. Some common causes are:

  • A degenerative disease
  • An inner ear disorder
  • Stroke
  • Foot conditions
  • A neurologic condition
  • Something as simple as ill-fitting shoes
  • injuries to the legs or feet
  • arthritis
  • infections in the soft tissue of the legs
  • broken bones in feet and legs
  • birth defects
  • infections in the inner ear
  • cerebral palsy
  • tendonitis
  • conversion disorder or other psychological disorders
  • shin splints

The following gait disorders are so distinctive as to earn names:

  1. Propulsive gait.
  • Propulsive gait is when a person walks with his or her head and neck pushed forward. It can appear as though the person is rigidly holding a slouched position.
  • This type of gait is seen in patients with parkinsonism.
  • It is characterized by a stooping, rigid posture, and the head and neck are bent forward.
  • Steps tend to become faster and shorter.
  1. Scissors gait. 
  • This type of gait gets its name because the knees and thighs hit or cross in a scissors-like pattern when walking.
  • The legs, hips, and pelvis become flexed, making the person appear as though he or she is crouching.
  • The steps are slow and small.
  • This type of gait occurs often in patients with spastic cerebral palsy.
  1. Spastic gait.
  • Spastic gait occurs when a person drags his or her feet while walking. This type can also make someone appear to be very stiff when walking.
  • Common to patients with cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis, spastic gait is a way of walking in which one leg is stiff and drags in a semicircular motion on the side most affected by long-term muscle contraction.
  1. Steppage gait
  • Steppage gait occurs when a person’s toes point towards the ground while walking. Often, the toes will scrape against the ground as the person steps forward.
  • A “high stepping” type of gait in which the leg is lifted high, the foot drops (appearing floppy), and the toes points downward, scraping the ground, when walking.
  1. Waddling gait. 
  • As the name suggests, a person with a waddling gait moves from side to side when walking.
  • Waddling involves taking short steps as well as swinging the body.
  • Movement of the trunk is exaggerated to produce a waddling, duck-like walk.
  • Progressive muscular dystrophy or hip dislocation present from birth can produce a waddling gait.

In addition to these five types, a person with a limp is also considered to have an abnormal gait. Similarly to other abnormalities, a limp may be either temporary or permanent. A limp may also clear up without medical intervention.



injuries may require surgery or physical therapy to help return the gait to normal.

For long-term cases of abnormal gait, it is likely a person will use assistive devices for treatment.

 Physical therapists play a vital role in helping individuals improve their gait. Your physical therapist will work with you to develop a treatment plan to help address your specific needs and goals. Your

physical therapist will design an individualized program to treat your specific condition.

Preventative steps include:

  • avoiding the participation in contact sports
  • wearing protective gear during sports
  • wearing well-fitting footwear during physical activity
  • wearing leg braces if needed
  • Physical therapy and strengthening exercises may be appropriate in other cases to improve balance, strength and flexibility. You should also receive instruction in fall prevention.
  1. Pre Gait training
  1. Gait training
  • help you focus on retraining the way you walk.
  • the underlying condition may be vestibular, neurological, or muscular, variations in the training exist.
  • therapist will design the safest and best training for your specific condition.
  1. Balance and Coordination Training.
  • balance activities for you to perform to help stabilize your walking pattern.
  • These can include in which balance is the problem:-
  • leg braces
  • crutches
  • canes
  • walker
  1. Neuromuscular Reeducation. 
  • neuromuscular reeducation techniques to activate any inactive muscle groups that may be affecting your gait.
  1. Bracing or Splinting. 
  • If the gait dysfunction is due to significant weakness or paralysis of a ligament therapist may teach you how to use adaptive equipment, like a brace or splint, to help you move.
What is gait dsyfunction ?

Gait is a person’s pattern of walking. Walking involves balance and coordination of muscles so that the body is propelled forward in a rhythm, called the stride.

Abnormal gait or gait abnormality occurs when the body systems that control the way a person walks do not function in the usual way.

  • Share this :

Make an appointment! Go there