What can be done to improve a gait disorder?

It depends on the cause. Assistive devices such as canes and walkers may help in some cases in which balance is a problem. Physical therapy and strengthening exercises may be appropriate in other cases to improve balance, strength and flexibility. You should also receive instruction in fall prevention.

Maintaining proper foot alignment may require in-shoe splints or leg braces. A shoe lift may help in cases of an unequal leg length.

Treating the underlying cause of the abnormal gait may help you recover some function. Medicines are available to treat arthritis, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Surgery or prostheses may be recommended, such as hip and knee replacement for persons with osteoarthritis.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/19/2019.


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