Of all types of human motor activity, walking is the most common and, at the same time, the most difficult. It involves many parts of the brain, various systems, and the bone apparatus. For a person’s gait to be correct, all these body structures must harmoniously interact with each other. If some malfunction occurs in the work of the central nervous system or it is disturbed, then, accordingly, the way of walking changes.
Modern medicine applies the name abasia to a fairly wide range of gait disorders. These include:
- spastic-atactic gait
- apraxia of walking
- peroneal gait
- idiopathic senile dysbasia
- dysbasia with mental retardation
- duck walk
- gait disturbances in epilepsy and paroxysmal dyskinesia
- gait for diseases of the musculoskeletal system, hyperkinetic gait.
In cases where there is a violation of the sensorimotor function, neurologists use the double name astasia-abasia. It is used in cases where, along with gait disorders, the patient also has an imbalance (i.e., astasia). The most common manifestation of such changes in gait is considered to be frontal dysbasia (normotensive hydrocephalus, discirculatory encephalopathy, stroke). Also, there are such types of dysbasia as psychogenic and senile dysbasia in neurodegenerative diseases.
Common types of gait disorders
Dysbasia is only one of the signs of a particular pathology. There are over 20 types of gait disorders and dysbasias classified by cause. Among them:
- Atactic. The most common gait disorder, especially in children, appears with brain structures lesions: the cerebellum, thalamus, and nerve fibers. Outwardly, it is manifested by the loosening of the body from side to side when walking.
- Hemiparetic. It is a consequence of a stroke, injuries sustained during childbirth, and neoplasms in the brain. It is characterized by squinting steps and circular foot movements.
- Paraspastic. It is a gait disorder in older people with long-term hypertension and patients diagnosed with cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, or hypovitaminosis.
- Hypokinetic. It is characterized by stiffness while walking and caused by hypokinesia, hydrocephalus, Parkinson’s disease, or muscle hypertonia.
- Peroneal. It is diagnosed when walking with sharp forward movements of the foot. Such gait disturbance occurs in the elderly with multiple sclerosis and people of a different age against the background of previous polio or damage to the common peroneal nerve.
It is difficult to independently determine the cause of the defect and the types of gait disorders. Only an experienced orthopedic surgeon specializing in dysbasia of varying severity can accurately diagnose and prevent complications.
Diagnosis and treatment of gait disorders
The main coordinators of normal gait and balance are the person’s eyes and inner ear. Accordingly, poor eyesight, infectious diseases of these organs often disturb the balance and, as a result, change his gait. The use of alcoholic beverages, narcotic drugs, uncontrolled intake of medications, including sedatives, also takes note of the last place among the causes of disturbed gait.
Any pathology in the nervous and muscular system of a person can lead to gait disorders. First of all, we are talking about the infringement of intervertebral discs.
If we talk about more serious causes of gait disorders, such diseases as multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and Parkinson’s disease come to the fore. The loss of sensation in both limbs in diabetes leads to loss of balance and instability.
Today, various methods of clinical and laboratory diagnostics are used to clarify the circumstances of gait disorders. These are ECHO-KG, CT, X-ray, as well as tonometry and biochemical analysis of the brain. Based on the results obtained, treatment for gait disturbances is prescribed, including surgical and therapeutic correction methods.
Treating different types of gait disorders. It should be remembered that dysbasia is a symptom that can be eliminated by curing the underlying disease. Having determined the degree of development of the pathology, a set of measures is prescribed to eliminate its consequences. If it is impossible to eliminate coordination disorders completely, treatment methods are prescribed that weaken the symptoms. It can be:
- manual therapy
- regular physiotherapy treatments
- Exercise therapy
- surgical intervention.
In cases where a person has symptoms of different types of gait disorders, they should seek the help of an orthopedist, neurologist, traumatologist, or ENT specialist. It all depends on the symptoms of gait disorders and, of course, the reasons for their occurrence. To find out the exact reason for the gait disturbance, it is necessary to undergo a detailed examination and thorough diagnosis.
How many types of gait are there?Eight basic pathological gaits can be attributed to neurological conditions: hemiplegic, spastic diplegic, neuropathic, myopathic, Parkinsonian, choreiform, ataxic (cerebellar), and sensory.
What is neurological gait dysfunction?Due to malfunctions in the nervous system, a person experiences functional gait disturbances. There are atypical and abnormal movements of the limbs that appear involuntarily.
What causes gait?Causes of gait disorders include neurological conditions, orthopedic problems, and medical conditions.
How do you fix gait abnormalities?To choose the most suitable treatment for your case, you should consult a doctor. Many patients with gait disorders benefit from physiotherapy.