How to Fix a Walking Gait

Written by crystal lassen
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How to Fix a Walking Gait
Abnormal walking gaits can affect people of all ages. (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Everyone has their own particular walking gait. A walking gait is the way that a person walks. Abnormal walking gaits can develop for a variety of reasons. Understand the cause of your walking gait before you attempt to fix the problem. Abnormal walking gaits arise due to injury, illness, or are sometimes even hereditary. There are multiple types of abnormal gaits and there are various ways to correct each type. Don't become discouraged if one method doesn't work for you as there are several others out there.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Leg brace
  • Shoe lift
  • Physical therapist
  • Medication

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  1. 1

    Allow any injuries to heal. Many people develop abnormal walking gaits due to injury, and they are often corrected once the injury heals. Steppage gaits and spastic gaits can be caused by injury, among other things. Steppage gaits are characterised by an individual being forced to lift one leg higher when walking to avoid dragging the foot. Spastic gaits cause people to drag a foot as opposed to being able to lift it.

  2. 2

    Wear a leg brace or a shoe lift. Leg braces will force the foot into a proper forward walking position. If you've suffered from a disease or drastic injury that has affected your gait, wear the brace to help relearn how to walk properly. Try to go for a 20- to 30-minute walk daily to practice walking with the brace. Try to walk on even ground, such as ground at a sports track, so that you can limit the chance of falling. Use a shoe lift if you have a gait that causes you to lift one leg higher than the other. The lift should be placed in the shoe of the leg which the gait does not affect. Shoe lifts work well to correct gaits in which there is a long muscle spasm in the affected leg.

  3. 3

    Consult a physical therapist. Physiotherapy is the most effective way to correct any issues with gait. Physical therapists can guide you in effective exercise techniques and will be able to answer any questions that you may have about your walking gait. Practice the exercise techniques at home, if you are able, to speed up the process. Get plenty of rest so that the exercises will be more effective.

  4. 4

    Talk to your doctor about medication options. Some gaits, usually those that are brought on by illness or disease, can be corrected or reduced by using the proper medication. Muscle relaxers are a common type of medication prescribed for walking they help the affected individual to more adequately exercise or retrain themselves to walk.

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