Gait Abnormality

Associated Gait Abnormality

Do you limp from an old fall? Have you discovered (or been told by a friend) that you have a limp that mysteriously came on slowly without any warning?  Do you also have pain—especially in the lower back? Does one of your shoulders sag below the level of the other shoulder?

Gait and posture go hand-in-hand. If you have a gait abnormality, you are very likely to have a co-existent postural abnormality.

Gait abnormality is usually indicated by some type of limp. It is possible for you to have a chronic limp and not actually realize it. That’s because, over time, the body becomes accustomed to compensating for the slow loss of function in one area of the body, by imperceptibly transferring duties to other musculoskeletal parts.

Unfortunately, a long term imbalance in posture or function can eventually lead to chronic pain in your back, knees, hips, and other areas of the body.  Therefore, it is important to address even the mildest limp in order to ward off more serious dysfunction or more lengthy treatment in the future.

Generally there are three types of limp:

  • Postural limp—which is a limp caused quite often by a leg length discrepancy, i.e., either functional or anatomical short leg.  This is a secondary, compensatory gait abnormality.
  • Antalgic limp—which is a limp caused by avoiding stepping on a painful hip, leg, ankle or foot.
  • Neurologic or muscular weakness limp—which is a limp or shuffle caused by loss of motor strength.

Treatment

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Occasionally Osteopathic Manual Therapy (OMT), alone, will resolve a shortened leg condition.  If the joint involved remains unstable after OMT, Prolotherapy will resolve most musculoskeletal sprain injuries that are causing the skeletal joint misalignments that are causing the compensatory postural gait abnormality.

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy would be more appropriate if the sprain injury and dysfunction are due to significant ligament or tendon tearing.

Gary B. Clark, MD, MPA | 1790 30th Street, Suite 230, Boulder, CO | (303) 444-5131