NCTV Episode 100

Continuing with the series of bitesize health tip videos which can be found here on my YouTube Channel, this episode includes:-

  • Acute and chronic causes of a limp
  • What to do when you have a limp
  • Ways to prevent a limp
  • Self-help strategies
  • A streamer


If you’d prefer to read the content within, rather than watch the video, then feel free to read the transcript, as follows:-

Hello and welcome to NCTV Episode 100, a milestone, woohoo…well someone’s got to celebrate it so it may as well be me! I started these videos back in the covid lockdown to provide helpful health tips and to help get people through that period with all the relevant advice and here we are pretty much four years later and there’s still plenty of things I get asked about which I can provide some suggestions and insights for.

Recently someone said to me that they had a really bad limp and asked if I could help, so that’s what this episode will be all about. Also with Easter 2024 coming up, it’s quite apt that you should want to be walking smoothly as opposed to almost hopping or lolloping around like the Easter Bunny.

So limping affects many of us at some point in our lives but what causes it? Sometimes it’s obvious had a recent strain, sprain or fall whilst playing sport, engaging in a leisure activity or have overexerted, doing something particularly strenuous. These are the most common culprits causing a limp and in most of these cases it’s likely to be a muscle or ligament that’s involved which could take several days or weeks to resolve. Usually this can be done so with self-management, as the body does a pretty good job at healing itself.

In these acute cases where there’s pain and inflammation you can apply a cold compresses for around the first 72 hours after the injury as part of the RICE acronym, standing for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation and then introduce heat thereafter as part of a contrast bathing routine where you can apply say 5 minutes of cold, 5 minutes of hot and 5 minutes of cold again to help speed up the healing process.

However, there are some cases where the cause of a limp may not be quite so obvious and this can potentially be due to something that has been more long term and chronic which has built up slowly over a number of weeks and months to the point where you can’t even remember when it started. Conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or even gout can cause pain and stiffness in the joints, leading to a limp.

Some of these more chronic conditions may have been going on so long that joint replacements or other forms of surgery may be required if all other less invasive treatment options have been tried. If caught early enough though there are a number ways you can help manage these conditions and in turn either reduce or eradicate the limp.

Firstly, through diet and nutrition. A balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, supports bone health, muscle function, and tissue repair. Also, consuming adequate calcium and vitamin D is particularly important for maintaining strong bones and preventing conditions like osteoporosis. Additionally, anti-inflammatory foods such as fruits, vegetables, fatty fish, and nuts can help reduce inflammation associated with muscle and joint issues, potentially alleviating pain and discomfort.

Secondly, a limp can be reduced through exercise. Regular physical activity is essential for strengthening muscles, improving joint flexibility, and enhancing overall mobility. Low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, and cycling can be beneficial for individuals experiencing a limp as they help maintain cardiovascular health and promote joint health without putting excessive stress on the affected limb. Strengthening exercises targeting specific muscle groups can also help support proper alignment and stability, reducing the risk of further injury or imbalance.

Going back to the causes of a limp and a third one can be fractures and traumatic injuries. Serious injuries like fractures or dislocations require immediate medical attention. While the likes of myself, an osteopath, can provide supportive care during the recovery process, it’s crucial to seek urgent care at A&E or from a doctor for proper diagnosis, immobilization, and treatment, especially if you’re experiencing severe pain, swelling, deformity, combined with the inability to bear weight on the affected limb.

In terms of other self-management strategies, these could include:-

Wearing supportive and well-fitted footwear to provide stability, cushioning, and proper alignment, thus reducing strain on the feet and lower limbs.

Also, Posture Awareness: Maintaining good posture while sitting, standing, and walking is essential for distributing weight evenly and minimizing strain on muscles and joints.

Stress Management is another: Chronic stress can exacerbate muscle and joint symptoms, so incorporating stress-reduction techniques such as mindfulness, yoga, or deep breathing exercises can help manage pain and improve overall well-being.

And finally, gentle self-massage techniques and targeted stretching exercises can help relieve muscle tension, improve flexibility, and enhance circulation, aiding in the recovery process.

So there you have it, limping might slow you down temporarily but by incorporating these self-management strategies into your daily routine, individuals experiencing a limp can complement these with the like osteopathic treatment or other forms manual and complementary therapies to promote healing and optimize their overall quality of life.

That’s it for this week’s bitesize bit to help your health flourish and I’ll see you again next time.

Bye for now!