Struggling to walk? Do you feel like your mobility is limited due to pain, stiffness, or weakness? If so, it could be due to a number of reasons – some of which might surprise you. From spinal conditions and neurological disorders to simply being inactive for too long, there are many potential causes that can result in difficulty walking. In this blog post, we’ll explore the various health issues that can lead to trouble walking, as well as provide tips on how to manage or prevent them.

shallow focus photography of person walking on road between grass

Common Causes of Difficulty Walking

There are many potential causes of difficulty walking, including medical conditions, injuries, and age-related issues. Some of the most common causes are described below.

Medical conditions

Various medical conditions can lead to difficulty walking. For example, arthritis can cause pain and stiffness in the joints, making it difficult to move around. Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease can also cause problems with balance and coordination, making it hard to walk without support.


Injury is a common cause of difficulty walking. For example, a broken bone in the leg or foot can make it difficult or impossible to walk without help. Spinal cord injuries can also lead to paralysis and difficulty walking. As explained by Dr. Allison, a spine surgeon, these injuries can range from mild to severe and may require surgery or other interventions. Further, inflammation caused by micro injury or overuse of muscles can make it difficult to move around. Plus, some types of surgery can lead to temporary difficulty walking.

Age-related issues

As people age, they may experience difficulties with balance and coordination due to changes in vision, hearing, and muscle strength. This can make it hard to walk without support.

Musculoskeletal problems

There are many different musculoskeletal problems that can cause difficulty walking. The most common is arthritis and injuries to the knees, hips, or feet. Other less common causes include conditions like osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, and muscular dystrophy.

If you’re having trouble walking, it’s important to see a doctor to find out what is causing the problem. They will likely recommend a course of treatment based on the underlying condition. For example, if you have arthritis, they may prescribe medication or suggest physical therapy. If you have an injury, they may recommend rest and rehabilitation exercises.

No matter what the cause of your difficulty walking is, there are treatments available that can help improve your symptoms and quality of life.


Arthritis is a common cause of difficulty walking. There are many different types of arthritis, but they all typically involve inflammation of the joints. This can lead to pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints, which can make it difficult to walk. If you have arthritis, you may need to see a doctor for treatment.

Additionally, there are some lifestyle changes that can help reduce symptoms and make it easier to walk. These include maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise, avoiding activities that aggravate the condition, taking medications as prescribed, and using assistive devices such as canes or walkers.


Diabetes can cause a condition called neuropathy, which refers to damage to the nerves. This can lead to numbness, tingling, or pain in the extremities, and can make it difficult to walk. If you think diabetes may be the cause of your difficulty walking, talk to your doctor. They can test your blood sugar levels and discuss treatment options with you. Also, ask about ways to manage your diabetes, such as lifestyle changes, medications, and proper nutrition.

Neurological disorders

There are a number of neurological disorders that can affect a person’s ability to walk. Some of the more common ones include cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease.

Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects muscle coordination and movement. It is caused by damage to the brain, typically before or during birth. People with cerebral palsy may have trouble walking because of issues with muscle control and balance.

Multiple sclerosis is another condition that can cause problems with walking. It is an autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system and can lead to issues with muscle weakness, paralysis, and loss of sensation.

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder that affects the nervous system. It can cause problems with movement, balance, and coordination. People with Parkinson’s may have a hard time walking because of these issues.

woman walking on shore

Taking the time to identify all of the factors that could be causing your difficulty walking, can help you manage it better and get back to a normal life. Whether it is due to an underlying medical condition or simply a lack of exercise, there are steps you can take to improve your ability to walk. From physical therapy exercises designed for pain relief and strength building to lifestyle changes such as increasing your activity levels and eating a healthy diet – with dedication and perseverance you can make great strides towards getting back on track again.

Published by HOLR Magazine.

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