F is for Festinating Gait

August 12, 2023

A Festinating gait is typicaly associated with parkinsonism and is described as taking rapid, small steps, which are done in an attempt to keep the center of gravity in between the feet while the trunk leans forward involuntarily and shift the center of gravity forward.

A festinating gait is a type of abnormal walking pattern that is often associated with certain neurological conditions, most notably Parkinson’s disease. The term “festinating” refers to the characteristic quickening and shuffling steps that individuals with this gait pattern exhibit. It can be described as a series of small, rapid, and involuntary steps that gradually accelerate, leading to a feeling of the person being “trapped” in a forward-leaning posture.

In a festinating gait, the person may have difficulty initiating movement and may take short, hesitant steps that progressively get faster and smaller. This gait pattern is often accompanied by reduced arm swing, stiffness in the muscles, and difficulty maintaining balance. The festinating gait is a result of the underlying motor control issues associated with Parkinson’s disease, such as the loss of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain that are responsible for coordinating smooth and controlled movements.


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