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Waddling gait appears as a different kind of walking. It occurs by muscular weakness in the pelvic girdle, which consists of a network of bones and muscles.

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Waddling Gait

Waddling gait appears as a different kind of walking. It is brought on by muscular weakness in the pelvic girdle, a network of bones and muscles that links your torso to your hips and legs, and aids in your ability to balance. It’s more difficult to maintain balance when walking if your pelvic girdle is weak. Your body, therefore, sways from side to side to prevent falling. As you walk, your hips could also bend to one side. Learn more about the reasons for a waddling gait in adults and children by reading on.


In particular, during the third trimester, waddling gaits are frequently observed in pregnant women. There are several potential causes for this. Your body begins releasing the hormone relaxin during the second trimester, which causes the ligaments and joints in your pelvis to loosen up and enable your pelvis to widen. Though it might have an impact on how you walk, a broader pelvis makes labor and delivery safer and simpler. Your pelvis might broaden in addition to relaxin due to downward pressure from the developing baby. As your pregnancy progresses, your stomach begins to protrude noticeably, which can affect your center of gravity and make it challenging to maintain balance, particularly when walking.

You may begin to lean back somewhat when standing or walking as a result of your spine and pelvis beginning to bend inward to support your expanding tummy. Waddling can also result from one of these reasons. Pregnant women often walk with a waddling stride, which is typical and unproblematic. It may even help to lower your chance of falling. Following childbirth, waddling gaits often disappear, but they might linger for a few months.

Other Reasons


of young kids, particularly toddlers, don’t walk as adults do. The mechanics of balance and walking require practice. Short steps and a waddling stride are typical in youngsters under the age of two. However, a waddling gait that persists above the age of three may indicate a deeper problem, particularly if it’s accompanied by:

  1. Tiptoeing, often known as walking on the balls of your feet
  2. a protruding stomach
  3. falling, or stumbling
  4. low endurance

A waddling gait in a kid older than three years old might may indicate:

  1. muscular dystrophy
  2. cerebral palsy
  3. congenital hip dysplasia
  4. lumbar lordosis

Some of these issues, such as lumbar lordosis, frequently resolve on their own. It’s advisable to consult with your child’s physician to identify the underlying problem because certain symptoms call for therapy. Your youngster might occasionally just need to work with a physical therapist.

Muscular Dystrophy (MD)

A series of uncommon disorders collectively referred to as muscular dystrophy (MD) weaken and eventually destroy muscles. Waddling is a sign of several forms of MD, including:

Duchenne MD

This condition affects the arms, legs, and pelvis and is virtually exclusively seen in boys. A primary indicator is having trouble crawling or standing up off the floor. A young child is diagnosed with Duchenne MD.

Becker MD

This disorder, a lesser variation of Duchenne MD, is similarly more prevalent in boys. It has an impact on the shoulders, pelvis, hips, and thigh muscles. Early adolescence or late childhood are common diagnosis times for Becker MD. Although there is no treatment for MD, there are a number of ways to slow down the disease’s course and increase mobility. These consist of:

  • Assistive devices
  • Gait training, a kind of physical therapy
  • Medication
  • Surgery

Infant Hip Dysplasia

Hip joints don’t always grow properly in infants. Hip dislocation is greatly increased by the shallow hip sockets that are the outcome of this. In rare circumstances, instability in the hip joint may also occur by having loose ligaments. Hip dysplasia in infants can be diagnosed at birth or it can develop over the course of the first year. Babies who get swaddled too tightly may occasionally develop newborn hip dysplasia. The following portray signs of baby hip dysplasia:

  • Legs of various lengths.
  • Tipping one’s foot or hobbling.
  • Decrease of flexibility or mobility in one leg or on one side of the body.
  • Thighs with irregular skin folds

When a child is born and at routine visits for the first year, pediatricians typically test for newborn hip dysplasia. Early detection typically allows for the use of aids like a harness or brace for treatment. For the best care, older infants could require surgery or a body cast.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neurological condition that runs in families. Muscle weakness and other symptoms are brought on by the motor neurons in your spinal cord deteriorating. The thighs are particularly affected by one kind of SMA called autosomal dominant spinal muscular atrophy with lower extremity predominance, which results in thigh muscle weakening and tissue loss. This unusual variant of SMA often manifests in infancy. Waddling may potentially indicate a symptom of autosomal dominant spinal muscular atrophy with lower extremity predominance.

  • Foot anomalies.
  • Extreme muscular tone.
  • The lower back’s curvature is pronounced.
  • Breathing difficulties.
  • Limited head size.

There is no cure for SMA; however, symptoms can be managed with the use of medicine, physical therapy, and surgery.

Diagnosing Waddling Gait

Finding the source of a waddling gait may be done in a number of ways. Your doctor may use any of the following methods following a physical exam to look for any new symptoms:

  • Searching for particular illness signs through genetic testing.
  • Muscle problems can be detected with a biopsy.
  • An enzyme blood test to look for high creatine kinase levels, which are an indication of MD.
  • Hip dysplasia may be checked for using ultrasonography.

It’s natural to walk with a waddling gait when pregnant, but this usually goes away upon the baby’s birth. Additionally frequent in children under 2, it frequently goes away on its own. If it doesn’t, it can indicate a more serious illness, such as MD or baby hip dysplasia.

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