What Causes Antalgic Gait and How Can You Treat It

There are a lot of health problems that can affect a person in a lifetime. Some of them are easy to treat, while others require intensive treatments. If you experience pain when walking, it is common to develop antalgic gait. This problem can be temporary, or it can last forever if you can’t treat the pain.

In this article, we are going to tell you more about the causes and treatment options for antalgic gait. This condition is more frequent in children, but it can also affect adults and older people. Antalgic gait is the body’s response to pain in the leg, feet or hip.


As we previously mentioned, antalgic gait is a response to pain. Sometimes, walking can be painful due to an injury or an inflammation. Because of this, people tend to avoid stepping on the foot that hurts. This is how antalgic gait develops.

The most common cause of this condition is an injury. If the injury is minor and it is treated in a short period of time, the antalgic gait will heal on its own. However, if it is persisting, it means that there might be a bone fracture which requires intensive treatment.

Infection is another cause of antalgic gait. Limping can appear due to a bacterial or viral infection in the growing joints or bones of children. This causes a lot of pain and it needs to be treated before it spreads in the blood. If it is treated and the bone or joints are fully recovered, the limping will shortly stop.

At children, inflammation is another cause for this condition. However, for older people, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common causes of limping and foot pain. People who experience back problems like discitis and sciatica (irritation of the sciatic nerve) might also experience limping and hip pain.


As you might expect, this condition shows one major symptom: limping. Due to the pain, people tend to walk differently so that they don’t apply pressure on the part of the foot or knee that hurts. Most people who suffer from this condition also use a crutch or a cane is the condition is serious.

People who experience pain in their foot bear the weight on the front area of the foot or on the heel. This affects the way they walk, and it can be seen with the naked eye. Those who suffer from knee pain are not going to extend the knee to the full length. Hip pain can make people let all of their weight on the other leg.

All of these types of antalgic gait put a lot of pressure on their back. This can lead to a lot of back problems and chronic back pain. In order to avoid these problems, let’s see which are the main treatment options for this condition.

Treatment Options

First of all, patients who suffer from this condition need to treat the main cause. For instance, those who had a minor injury, or an infection need to treat that first and after that the limping is going to go away. While patients wait for the therapy to solve the problem, they might still experience pain and limping. Specialist might recommend cane or a walker to reduce the pressure.

Temporary antalgic gaits can also be treated with the RICE technique: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. However, these treatments might not get rid of the pain and the limping. Due to prolonged limping, people can experience other musculoskeletal issues. They need to consult a chiropractor.

Chiropractic care can help people get rid of the limping and the pain. Also, if they also suffer from back pain caused by the antalgic gait, chiropractic care is the least invasive procedure they can undergo to alleviate the pain. Some patients might also try painkillers, but they might have more side effects then benefits.

Chiropractors can help people control the pain and increase the strength and flexibility in the foot and knee that hurts. However, before you decide that this is the best treatment option, you might want to consult with your doctor and receive his or her approval.


These are the most important things you should know about antalgic gait. Make sure to schedule an appointment when you experience pain in your foot, knee or hip. Also, if you start to develop a limp, it is better to treat it as soon as possible in order to avoid back problems and chronic pain.