Walking Problems: Causes, Symptoms & Diagnosis

Walking is an activity that most take for granted. While it helps us perform a range of activities, it is also essential to understand there can be problems related to walking that can hamper the function.

Walking disorders can cause discomfort, make accessing spaces difficult, and stress. There are several reasons for such walking problems. Read on to know more about them.

What Are Walking Problems?

Walking problems are abnormalities and issues in performing the activity of walking. They can be patterns that cannot be controlled and hurt how we walk as individuals. Difficulty walking can be caused by genetic disorders, physical injuries, or underlying medical and neurological conditions.

It hampers day-to-day functions and makes walking a difficult task.

What Are the Causes of Difficulty in Walking

In some cases, walking difficulties can be temporary. These include physical injuries such as cuts, sprains, and cramps in the legs that reduce the functioning of the feet and back, which facilitates walking.

In other cases, an individual could have neurological issues, leg injuries, or behavioral concerns. Other causes can be an injury to the bones, infections in the knee and other parts, and chronic illnesses such as arthritis that can cause inflammation and reduce the ability to walk freely.

Musculoskeletal Causes of Difficulty in Walking

Musculoskeletal causes of difficulty in walking involve the negative impact of the muscles or the skeletal structure on the body. This includes poor posture, hip dysplasia, and tendonitis.

These conditions have a physical impact on the muscles that hinder movement. A herniated disc and weak muscles are also causes of difficulty in walking, as muscles and bones are not functioning correctly in the body.

Neurologic Causes of Walking Difficulty

The brain and the nervous system coordinate functions in the muscle and joints that convey the message of walking to the parts of the legs. When there is a disruption in this type of communication, there is a neurological cause of the walking difficulty.

This can be caused due to a tumor or absence in the brain or spinal cord that prevents smooth communication. Other factors, such as Parkinson's, stroke, and ear infection, affect the body's ability to transmit information through the nervous system, negatively impacting the body's ability to walk correctly.

Sensory Causes of Difficulty Walking

Difficulty in walking can also occur due to sensory problems. This means that the body cannot understand the sensory input needed for walking and is often thrown off balance. This can be caused due to ear wax impact,  acute ear infections, visual processing problems, and deafness.

The body may be unable to process its surroundings and can falter while moving about.

Other Causes of Difficulty in Walking

There are several other reasons for difficulty in walking. In some cases, mental health concerns such as dementia and Alzheimers can impact one's ability to walk. They can be disoriented and falter while walking.

Other causes can be anemia, heart diseases, and even cases of poisoning that exhaust the body and impact the ability to walk. There can also be underlying concerns and a lack of vitamins that can cause exhaustion that prevents walking. It is essential to treat them at the earliest. 

What Are the Potential Symptoms of Walking Difficulty

In most cases, symptoms of walking difficulties are easy to spot. One of the most common symptoms is loss of balance, where one faces difficulty in taking steps. The walking problem can be wobbly, cause loss of footing, and cause them to trip. Other symptoms can be dizziness and fatigue.

Fatigue and tiredness are other difficulties of walking, where one can be exhausted by simply engaging in walking for a few minutes. These can often result from a lack of nutrients or other factors such as tiredness and soreness.

Back pain can also be a symptom of walking and result in difficulty. It is often a musculoskeletal marker. Chest pain, shortness of breath, and palpitations are some other symptoms to look out for to understand the difficulty in walking.

How Are Walking Problems Diagnosed

Walking disorders can be diagnosed by a medical professional such as an orthopedic or a rheumatologist. Other professionals who deal with the nervous system can also be consulted to understand the condition better.

In most cases, the doctor will run a few physical examinations, such as simple tasks that help ascertain the individual's condition. This can be followed up through blood tests and imaging, such as X-rays and MRI, to help understand any underlying requirements related to the brain or spinal cord.

These can help diagnose the condition and formulate a treatment plan.

Treatment of Walking Difficulty

There are several ways of treating walking difficulties. Medication can sometimes be prescribed to help with balance and other physical conditions. Physiotherapy for walking can help relax muscles and joints and aid in walking for people unable to walk.

In other cases, a walking aid such as shoe splints or walking sticks can be advised to make walking more accessible and convenient. Physical therapy is also an effective way of strengthening the muscles and joints and helping improve posture and balance, which can facilitate better walking ability. Treating underlying illnesses can also help effectively manage the condition and reduce its impact on the ability to walk around.

Treat Your Walking Problem With Physiotattva

We at Physiotattva aim to make life easy and comfortable. Our dedicated professionals can help understand your condition from various angles and help accurately diagnose the condition. Physiotherapists will be followed through with professional care that suits your need to ensure that you are on the road to recovery at the earliest.

Reach out to our team today to learn more about treating walking problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is considered difficulty walking?

Any discomfort that is long-lasting while attempting to walk and has the potential to result in a physical injury can be called difficulty in walking.

Persistent discomfort while walking that makes it an exhausting task can also be a sign that it is getting difficult to walk.

How do you fix walking problems?

Understanding the medical reason is essential, which can help understand a treatment plan. This can include factors such as medication, physiotherapy, and walking aids.