Gait Dysfunction Treatment Specialist in Hinsdale, IL
There are so many potential causes of gait issues, ranging from minor to life-threatening, all of which should be treated properly to ensure that the patient can continue living as comfortably as possible. Consult our Gait Dysfunction Treatment Specialist at Progressive Physical Therapy and get yourself treated. For more information, contact us today or book an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 15 Spinning Wheel Road Ste. 24 Hinsdale, IL 60521.
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Many physical and neurological ailments can have a huge impact on how we walk, which can have a drastic impact on how we comfortably live our day-to-day lives. Changes in our proper walking manner can occur anytime throughout our lives, whether it is during the developmental stages of learning how to walk for the first time and having a parent notice deviation from what was expected, to aging and losing proper muscle and joint function. Regardless of the cause, being able to get around is a huge part of our daily lives and there are many different treatments to ensure gait issues are addressed.
Someone’s gait is the manner in which they walk. Physicians will observe a patient’s gait as a method of checking for developmental abnormalities. Gait dysfunctions are any changes or deviations from what is considered normal for the person given their age and condition that are frequently related to a disease or abnormality somewhere in the body.
Physician observations of gait are used to help identify sources of pain in the muscles, and nerves, or the source of skeletal problems while the patient is walking or standing upright. There are 5 key determinants of gait that physicians will typically observe with patients which consist of compass gait, pelvic rotation, pelvic tilt, stance knee flexion, plantar flexion, and lateral displacement.
Abnormalities in gait can be caused by a wide variety of disorders or conditions associated with neurological conditions, orthopedic issues, and general medical conditions. Some examples of neurological conditions that may cause gait disorders to include cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular dystrophy, brain tumors, peroneal neuropathy, Parkinson’s disease, and microvascular white-matter disease.
Many of the neurological conditions that lead to gait issues cause weakness in the muscles of the hips and lower extremities. Common orthopedic problems that cause gait issues include osteoarthritis and any skeletal deformities within the lower extremities. Medical conditions such as heart failure, respiratory insufficiency, peripheral arterial occlusive disease, or obesity may cause gait issues as well.
Gait issues can be caused by factors as minor as ill-fitting footwear or as serious as a tumor. Essentially, any problems with the muscles and joints that are associated with walking, or any part of your body associated with balance (e.g. inner ear function) can have an impact on your gait.
The most observable symptoms of a gait dysfunction are the visible changes in gait such as walking with the head or neck bent over, shuffling feet, jerky movements, smaller than normal steps, waddling, stiff or slower steps, basically any problems with walking or balance that results in unsteadiness. Other symptoms that the patient may be experiencing that are not visible to others include dizziness, lightheadedness, motion sickness, vertigo, or double vision.
Physicians may test for conditions causing any of these symptoms with a performance test for observation of the 5 key determinants, combined with hearing tests, inner ear tests, and vision tests that include the observation of eye movements. To check for problems associated with neurological function, an MRI or CT scan may be required to see abnormalities in the brain or spinal cord. An electromyogram is also often used to assess the condition of the peripheral neuropathy and muscles through the nerves. Balance problems can often be assessed through simple blood tests.
The treatment one may receive for gait abnormalities are entirely dependent on the causes. Many treatments include medications, physical therapy, and rehabilitation to relearn muscle movements, improve balance, and learn how to prevent falls. If the gait problems are caused by balance issues associated with vertigo, there are head positions that you can learn that will help regain balance.
The treatment will not only differ depending on the condition that has caused gait issues but also is customized for each individual case, so there is not one treatment that may be perfect for everyone experiencing gait abnormalities. This treatment will be customized by you and your team of medical professionals to ensure the best results wherever possible. For more information, contact us today or book an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 15 Spinning Wheel Road Ste. 24 Hinsdale, IL 60521. We serve patients from Chicago IL, Oak Park IL, Lombard IL, Downers Grove IL, Bridgeview IL, and Oak Lawn IL.