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What Is Your Gait?

Gait Refers to Your Walking Pattern


Updated May 22, 2014

Maria Teijeiro/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Definition: Gait refers to the manner in which you walk. Gait abnormalities are typically associated with a physical disease, condition, or deformity. Arthritis is among the conditions that can cause an abnormal gait. Joint pain, limited range-of-motion of a joint, or joint deformity associated with arthritis can cause an abnormal gait.

With arthritis, people begin to take smaller steps, limp, or alter their gait to compensate for painful or damaged joints -- especially when weight-bearing joints are involved. Examples include:

In some cases, mobility aids are needed to support the weakened joint and normalize the affected gait. Pain management and physical therapy help patients improve their gait.

More about Walking Abnormalities.

Pronunciation: gate

Examples: People with arthritis of the lower extremities can have an abnormal gait.


Walking Abnormalities. A.D.A.M. 3/5/2007.

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