An unsteady walk that can be caused by pain, weakness or injury to the leg.
Rest. Ice the painful area. Compress the area with an elastic bandage. Elevate the limb with a pillow. Take ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) for pain.
When to seek immediate medical care
Seek emergency help if:
- The limp happens along with muscle weakness, numbness or tingling, or fever.
- The pain is constant, severe, comes on fast, or wakes a person up at night.
- The affected leg can barely move or stretch in the usual direction.
When to make a doctor's appointment
See a healthcare professional if:
- The limp lasts longer than a week and does not get better on its own.
- The limp limits a person's usual activities.
- A toddler or young child refuses to walk or stand.