Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: March 9, 2017
Spine problems can range from mildly irritating to majorly debilitating, and problems in our back can inhibit function in other areas of our body. Disc issues can lead to bladder issues, while nerve problems can lead to numbness or muscle weakness. Other times a spinal problem can affect the way we walk. Today, we take a look at some back issues that can cause you to walk with a limp, and what you should do if a back problem is making it difficult to walk.
Spine Nerve Impingement
We don’t have to consciously think about walking with each step we take, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a lot happening inside our bodies. Nerves are sending and receiving signals to and from the brain, and if these signals get disrupted, it can cause problems while walking. If a nerve in the lower back becomes compressed, it can lead to symptoms in your leg, including pain, numbness, tingling, muscle weakness or tightness, and muscle spasms. Impinged nerves are one of the most common causes of inhibited gait in patients both young and old.
- Treatment – Exercise and stretching techniques can help free a compressed nerve. If pain continues or gets worse, spinal manipulation, physical therapy and a consultation with a spine specialist can help.
Spinal Muscle Issues
If muscles in your back aren’t working correctly, it can make it difficult or too painful to walk correctly. Muscle issues that contribute to a limp can come in many forms, including muscle spasms, muscle strains or muscle tightness. If these muscles aren’t working right, your pelvis and hips attempt to compensate for the issue, which can lead to a limp.
- Treatment – Stretching and exercise can help facilitate oxygenated blood to the affected area, especially if you work a sedentary job where you sit for long periods. Always find time to move about and keep your muscles loose. Other tips to keep in mind include staying hydrated and taking time to warm up before physical activity.
Hip and Pelvis Issues
You might not consider your hip and pelvis as a part of your spine, but all of these sections work in close relation to one another, and a problem in one area will almost always cause the other sections to work harder, which can contribute to a limp.
- Treatment – Problems affecting the hip include hip fractures and osteoporosis, which can be prevented and treated with exercise, muscle strengthening, physical therapy and a healthy diet.
For more possible reasons as to why you’re walking with a limp, consult with a spine specialist today.