Medical Specialties: Geriatrics, Neurology, Orthopedics, Physical medicine & rehab

Clinical Definition

A person’s gait is a series of rhythmical alternating movements of the trunk and limbs, which result in the forward progression of the center of gravity.

In Our Own Words

The way in which a person walks or runs, including the speed, stride length, posture and foot movements, is referred to as his or her gait. Experts can analyze these characteristics to diagnose musculoskeletal problems as well as diseases such as Parkinson’s and myasthenia gravis. 

Common Types
  • Normal, comfortable walking
  • Shuffling
  • Waddling
  • Foot dropping/slapping
  • Toe dragging
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  • Merriam Webster Dictionary. “Gait.” Accessed July 2013.
  • The Merck Manual. “Gait Disorders in the Elderly” last updated February 2010. Accessed July 2013.
  • Cleveland Clinic. “Other Neuromuscular Disorders.” Accessed July 2013.
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