Question:

Most people say I walk weird, they showed me how I walked as an example. I walked with my back arched a lot and my butt poked out. I do not mean to walk like this. Do I need physical therapy? how much does it cost? and what should I know about the way I walk?


Answer:

Thank you for your question. Without doing an examination, we’re not able to comment on your specific condition. In general, it is normal for people to have an arch in their low back. This curve is called “lumbar lordosis.” Some people naturally have a more pronounced lumbar lordosis than others. This can be structural (how their skeleton naturally developed), habitual (think of gymnasts’ arched low backs), or it can be associated with impairments in the strength and control of a person’s trunk and hip muscles.

Excessive lumbar lordosis can potentially contribute to abnormalities in the appearance of a person’s walk as well as the development of low back pain. However, it is also possible to have a very arched low back that does not result in pain. A physical therapist can assess a person’s spinal mobility and core muscle control to determine if the person has impairments that may contribute to abnormal walking patterns and/or low back pain. If this is the case, treatment will often include prescription of specific strengthening exercises for a person’s weak muscles as well as stretches for tight muscles. If a physical therapy exam suggests that there is a non-muscular underlying cause for a person’s abnormal walking and arched low back, the physical therapist may refer the person to a different healthcare provider to ensure that they get the care they need.

Physical therapy is covered by most insurance plans. We recommend that you check with your insurance provider to determine your coverage, since specific insurance policies vary. You can also call a physical therapy clinic near you with your insurance information and they will assist you in determining your insurance coverage. If you choose not to pay with insurance, you can ask a physical therapy office near you about cash-pay rates.


**This reply is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, physical therapist, or other qualified health provider with a medical condition.