Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
An unsteady gait is an abnormality in walking that can be caused by diseases of or damage to the legs and feet (including the bones, joints, blood vessels, muscles, and other soft tissues) or to the nervous system that controls the movements necessary for walking.
An unsteady gait may occur as a result of a temporary condition, such as an injury or infection, or it may indicate a long-term (chronic) problem. An unsteady gait can be mild enough to be barely noticeable or may be so severe as to cause an inability to perform tasks of daily living. Treatments for unsteady gait depend on the underlying cause. When an unsteady gait is related to a sprain, strain, or minor injury, analgesic and anti-inflammatory medications may be effective for relief. More severe injuries and conditions require specific therapies that are directed at the underlying cause of the problem.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
Causes of Unsteady Gait
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Other Causes of Unsteady Gait
- Medication Side Effects
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Spinal Cord Tumor
Examples of Medications for Unsteady Gait
- acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tylenol Arthritis Pain, Tylenol Ext, Little Fevers Children's Fever/Pain)
- aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid, Bayer, Ecotrin, and others)
- celecoxib, Celebrex
- ibuprofen (Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever, and others)
- naproxen, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn, Aleve
- OTC Pain Relievers and Fever Reducers
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