What can be done if my child walks with a limp?
The incidence of limping in children is 1.5 to 3.6 cases per 1,000 children, with some variations in children from different countries.
The cause of a painful limp needs to be evaluated and diagnosed by a general practitioner or pediatrician by means of physical exams, laboratory testing, blood work and imaging studies. However, if the limp or gait disturbance is not painful, but still persists, then a hands-on manipulation approach can be very useful to reduce the limp.
Physiotherapy and osteopathy employ a multitude of muscle and fascial/connective tissue release techniques that can lessen the connective tissue distortions that result in a limp or gait disturbance.
A sprained ankle with weak ankle ligaments is one of the most common causes for a limp in children. The other common cause is a pelvic tilt that leads to a limp and gait disturbance.
Ankle issues can usually be improved with strengthening of the ligaments that allow for ankle movement and release of the muscles and ligaments attached to the ankle joint. While pelvic tilt is usually improved with pelvic, hip and sacrum leveling techniques using hands-on muscle and fascial release techniques performed by physiotherapists and osteopaths.
If you are concerned about a limp, bring your child in for an evaluation and assessment. Treating a limp will improve your child’s gait and allow him or her to be more active in sports and lead a more full and healthy life.