What do you think about while you’re walking? Probably not about all the muscles and brainpower it takes to keep you upright and moving forward. After all, walking is something you’ve been doing for years without needing to give it a second thought. This list of muscles is all used every time you take a step:
- Ankle muscles
- Hip flexors
- Arm and shoulder muscles
- Abdominal muscles
- And your heart.
That’s a lot! With each footstep, you’re engaging all these muscles. If the way you walk is not optimal, you’re not using those muscles efficiently and you’re likely putting undue stress and strain on not just your muscles, but your joints and your spine as well. In older adults, poor gait can result in falls, leading to injury, surgery, loss of independence or worse.
How do I know if I’m not walking well?
It can be difficult to assess yourself, but here are a couple of things to watch out for:
Frequent trips, or stumbles
Unevenly worn shoes – how are your shoes are wearing out?
- Do they wear evenly?
- Does one wear out before the other?
- Are they wearing out on a ‘slant?’ (one side of the heel getting worn down more than the other)
It starts from the ground up
Think about this for a second – if you build a house with shaky or unstable foundations, you’re likely to get cracks in the ceiling aren’t you? A strong and stable foundation is essential to withstand movement and external factors. The same can be said about your feet and the way you walk. Poor gait can have a cascading effect throughout your body, all the way up to your neck.
Your Concentric physiotherapists can assess and help you understand the way in which gait may be affecting the overall health of your feet, knees, hips and spine.
How can physio help with gait?
By modifying the way you walk, you have the potential to achieve better balance, ankle mobility and muscle strength and control. Using the latest comprehensive video-based postural and gait assessment technology, we assess the way you walk and distribute load to retrain gait and help prevent the occurrence of future injury.
Doing this now affords you the best chance later on in life of avoiding trips, stumbles, falls and associated injuries. Gait retraining may take some time – think about how long you’ve been walking in the manner you’re accustomed to..
Do step this way..
During the month of September at Concentric Rehab, we are conducting free gait analysis sessions. Book yours in today, and make sure you’re strong, stable and set for life. Mention the SEPTEMBER MONTHLY OFFER when making your booking.