The gait is as unique and individual as fingerprints. It can also become an early indicator of disease. Pay attention, if you notice any of these features in yourself or your loved ones, it is worth making an appointment with a doctor.
If you have not experienced any recent injuries, but at the same time limp slightly when walking, trying to quickly transfer weight to your right or left leg, this may indicate developing arthritis or flat feet, as well as different leg lengths. The fact is that if the difference is insignificant, the body tries to compensate for it for a long time, but almost always this mechanism occurs at the expense of the joints. As a result, they wear out faster, there is pain in the back, knees or hips, and the difference in leg length, which the body can no longer compensate, manifests itself through lameness.
The older we get, the slower our gait is – this is an objective and even scientifically proven fact. A 2017 study confirmed that as we age, the muscles in the thighs and buttocks weaken and wear down, and the muscle fibers themselves contract. This makes us weaker and our gait slower. What else could a too slow gait indicate? This could be a sign of developing osteoarthritis and other joint diseases.
A gait in which the feet do not lift off the floor, but rather slide on it, may be one of the early signs of Parkinson’s disease. This dangerous disease begins with almost imperceptible signals, and the sooner treatment begins, the higher the chances of compensating for the disease. Therefore, if you notice that you or your loved ones began to shuffle when walking, see your doctor – just in case.
The gait, in which a person waddles slightly from side to side, like a duck or even a penguin, is called the Trendelenburg gait and can be a sign of increased gluteal weakness. The causes of this condition can be very different, from a past polio to a soft tissue abscess or an infection of the pelvic organs, but in any case, you should see a doctor. Especially if this condition has appeared recently.
Cramps when walking
If you experience severe cramps from time to time while walking or running, literally paralyzing the muscles of the lower extremities, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. It can be a symptom of a lung or peripheral artery disease where a blood clot forms in the blood vessels supplying the legs. This is a life-threatening condition, so it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible.
If you find yourself stumbling more and more out of the blue lately, you might want to check your blood sugar levels: so-called diabetic neuropathy is a common complication of type 2 diabetes. In this condition, the sensitivity of the feet is greatly reduced, and the person at some point ceases to feel them well enough to walk or run without problems.