COMMON ISSUES FROM POOR WALKING MECHANICS

Are you using good walking mechanics? Summer is here and if you live in a great city for walking, it may be time to consider if you are. Knowing may help you stay proactive instead of reactive to chronic pain. It can be a fit bit challenge, hiking, or just for leisure this low-impact exercise with improper posture can lead to muscle imbalances and strain.

COMMON ISSUES FROM POOR WALKING MECHANICS:

  • Bunions
  • Plantar fasciitis – not working through the sole of your foot can create this painful ailment
  • Knee issues
  • Hip issues
  • Low-back issues

My practice will see an uptake in walkers unaware these issues can stem from everyday foot mechanics and walking gait.

WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE WHEN YOUR USING THE PROPER WALKING MECHANICS:

  1. Your head should be straight, with your gaze about 15 to 20 feet in front of you. (You should’nt feel tension in your shoulders)
  2. Your torso should be actively working for you (abs/pelvic floor on with out you forcing it) if they are this will allow you to have good posture during the walk.
  3. A smooth, non-jerky arm swing can be achieved by gently swinging your bent arms in a natural motion. (careful with hand position the shouldn’t face the back this position can cause shoulder issues)
  4. Lastly, are the feet cooperating? Especially if you’ve had ankle sprains in the past it’s good to know if you have a active foot. To prevent chronic pain from developing. First thing in the morning your routine should include rolling the ankle and massage to the bottom of the foot to loosen any stiffness.

FOOT POSITIONING

Having an active foot makes a world of difference. In foot assessment the toe will always be inactive. It could be the hips, hamstring or the muscles of the calf not working together to allow full plantar flexion of the foot this can prevent the toe from functioning properly.

Proper foot positioning during walking helps to create a smooth even motion that minimizes foot, knee, and back pain. Let your heel hit the ground first then gently roll toward the front of your toe.

Try to hit your heel on the ground as gently as possible. Are your shoes made for walking? Your shoes must be supportive, with a sole thick enough to absorb shock, yet flexible enough to move through the rolling foot motion. If you are making a lot of noise as you walk, this can indicate you are not practicing proper mechanics.

Proper mechanics when walking will also ensure you are getting the greatest benefits from walking. While proper walking may take practice to perfect, you can reap the benefits of less back pain and discomfort.

Then you can enjoy your walks through the city!

References:

Proper walking technique by Mayo Clinic.com

 

Uneven leg length can cause back pain

Uneven leg length can cause back pain

NeuroKinetic Therapy is a concise roadmap to the “why” of dysfunction.

Did you know leaning on one leg messes up your back and can shape your spine and create a functional scoliosis. What is a functional curving of the spine. If you were not born with a curvature of the spine but have one now the cause most likely are due to the following:

  • Injury
  • Poor posture
  • Body compensation patterns
  • Uneven leg length
  • Tight or spasmed muscles
  • Inflammation
  • Results from wear and tear on the discs and joints of the spine, is likely to cause back pain

A good clue you have a curve is when you favor one leg more than the other when you stand. All these factors combined can lead to different problems including an S-curve of the spine.

Similarly when your’re more pronated on one leg, it will cause a chain reaction of a collapsing of the knee which in turn drags your hip down. You end up experiencing pain in your neck, back, hips and you have no idea that all these problems are originating from your feet and various areas of your core.

Guess what there are solutions for you and you don’t have to wait until you are in pain.

If your hip and your feet are not communicating ( abs included ) they’re not going to want to work in synchronization to create a stable base for your torso, chest, upper back, neck, shoulders and head.

There are exercises out there that promote a fix but what if the core just cannot respond to strengthening because muscle function has been compromised you can make things worse by only strengthening the dysfunction instead of the core this then can lead to injury and pain.

Schedule a structural balance therapy today to get assessed and improve muscle function to help align the body and begin adapting it to respond to stabilization of the core and reduce or even eliminate these problems.

An ounce of Prevention is worth a pound of cure.