Limping refers to any type of difficulty that occurs while walking. Limping can be considered to be a form of walking that favors the use of one leg over another and is most commonly due to diseases of or damage to the legs and feet, including all of the structures such as muscles, bones, joints, blood vessels, and nerves that make up the lower extremities.
Limping can result from either an acute (having a recent onset) or chronic (long-term) condition. Injuries such as bone fractures, sprains, and strains are common causes of limping. Arthritis and congenital malformations (birth defects) are other potential causes. Limping can also result from conditions that damage the central nervous system, such as cerebral palsy. Depending on the precise cause, limping may be treatable in some cases or its severity may be reduced through the use of medications and/or surgical interventions.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
Pictures, Images, Illustrations & Quizzes
Gout Attack Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Diet
Gout attacks (gouty arthritis) are caused by crystals of uric acid deposits. Learn about symptoms, causes, treatments and...
Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms, Treatment, Images
What is psoriatic arthritis? Psoriatic arthritis is an arthritis type that comes with psoriasis (skin inflammation). Psoriatic...
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Symptoms & Treatment
What is rheumatoid arthritis (RA)? Learn about juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Discover rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms,...
Rheumatoid Arthritis Quiz: What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
How is rheumatoid arthritis different from other forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis and gout? Take the Rheumatoid...
Causes of Limping
15 Early Symptoms and Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Early RA symptoms and signs vary differently from person to person. The most common body parts that are initially affected by RA...
Ankle pain is commonly due to a sprain or tendinitis. The severity of ankle sprains ranges from mild (which can resolve within...
Birth defects have many causes and currently, are the leading cause of death for infants in the first year of life. Some of the...
Broken Bone (Types of Bone Fractures)
A broken bone is a fracture. There are different types of fractures, such as: compressed, open, stress, greenstick,...
Cellulitis is an acute spreading bacterial infection below the surface of the skin characterized by redness, warmth,...
Cerebral palsy (CP) is an abnormality of motor function and postural tone acquired at an early age (even before birth). Cerebral...
Cuts, Scrapes and Puncture Wounds
Cuts, scrapes, and puncture wounds are common, and most people will experience one of these in their lifetime. Evaluating the...
Gout (Gouty Arthritis)
Buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint causes gouty arthritis. Symptoms and signs include joint pain, swelling, heat, and...
Hamstring injuries may range from minor strains to major ruptures. A hamstring injury causes spasm, tightness, and tenderness....
A herniated disc may be caused by injury or degeneration from age. Symptoms depend on the location of the herniation and whether...
Arthritis, bursitis, IT band syndrome, fracture, and strain are just some of the causes of hip pain. Associated symptoms and...
Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone. Potential causes include injections around the bone, fractures that puncture the skin,...
Paget's disease is a chronic bone disorder due to irregular breakdown and formation of bone tissue. Symptoms of Paget's disease...
Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD Symptoms, Signs, Causes, Treatments)
Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) refers to diseases of the blood vessels (arteries and veins) located outside the heart and...
A pinched nerve causes pain, numbness, or tingling in the affected area due to pressure on a nerve. Caral tunnel and sciatica are...
A polio infection causes symptoms and signs such as paralysis, limb deformities, and even death. There is no curative treatment...
Psoriatic arthritis is a disease that causes skin and joint inflammation. Symptoms include painful, stiff, and swollen joints,...
There are many types of quadriceps injuries, including strains, contusions, Osgood-Schlatter disease, patellar tendinitis,...
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints,...
Septic arthritis, or infectious arthritis, is infection of one or more joints by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Symptoms and signs...
Sprains and Strains
An injury to a ligament is called a sprain, and an injury to muscle or tendon is called a strain. Sprains and strains may be...
Vasculitis (Symptoms, Treatment, Types)
Vasculitis (arteritis, angiitis) is a general term for a group of uncommon diseases which feature inflammation of the blood...
Other Causes of Limping
Examples of Medications for Limping
- 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 (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn)
- Over-the-Counter Products
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter