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Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic

Exercises to Improve an Unsteady Gait

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foot exercisesThe ability to walk normally and confidently has to be learned as a toddler, and unfortunately it’s not guaranteed to be a life-long skill. While most people maintain a steady gait, others can lose it over time. World Parkinson’s Disease Day on April 11 highlights this unfortunate reality. This particular disease dramatically weakens the body’s ability to walk steadily. It’s far from the only source of an unsteady gait, though. Other nerve damage and foot problems are both common issues that destabilize your walking. In some cases, though, exercises for unsteady gait may help you.

Nervous issues and diseases that cause unstable walking are serious and may or may not be improved by physical therapy. An unsteady gait caused by lower limb problems, however, may benefit from exercises that strengthen muscles and improve balance. Arthritis, ankle problems, and even recovery from a traumatic injury can take a toll on your ability to walk. The proper lower limb care, though, should help you with your mobility and hopefully prevent falls.

Here are a few exercises for an unsteady gait that should improve your mobility:

  • One-Foot Balancing – Start holding onto a chair while you support your weight on just one foot. Slowly let go of the chair to balance. Try balancing for 30 seconds, then extend your time to a minute.
  • Leg Raises – Holding onto a chair, slowly lift one leg at least six inches off the ground to the front of you. Keep your knee straight as you do so. Repeat this several times, then lift your leg to the side and to the back.
  • Heel Raises – Stand with your feet should-width apart. Slowly rise up on your toes, then lower back down. Repeat ten or more times.
  • “Tightrope” Walking – Walk in a straight line across the room, putting one foot directly in front of the other like you’re walking a tightrope.

Don’t be afraid of using a walking aid to get around if you truly need it. Continue trying to build strength in your lower limbs and keep walking. Strong, active feet are more likely to be stable! Let Dr. Darren Silvester and our team of foot specialists a Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic in Pleasanton, TX, help you determine the best exercises for unsteady gait to improve your walking. Make an appointment today by calling (830) 569-3338 or using the website request form.

In 2011 I had a hip fracture. My recovery was excellent. In 2015, the kitchen carpet was taken up from the kitchen floor and replaced with linoleum on the bare wood floor. As a result I began to experience excrutiating pain in the hip that had been fractured. Sometime later there was a type of kitchen padding that was put on top of the linoleum. I am thankful that the severe pain has gone but I do have discomfort in my right hip and find it challenging to walk with a steady gait. I found your recommended exercises on your web site and began using them. I'm thinking also that perhaps an indoor bicycle would be helpful. Any additional advice or thoughts you would have to offer would be appreciated. Thank you. Thank you.
Posted by Sara on September 1, 2018 at 04:55 PM

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