How relaxed, or shall we say “sloppy” is your gait ?
Look at this picture, the blurred left swing leg tells you this client has been photographed during gait motion.
Now, visualize a line up from that right foot through the spine. You will see that it is clearly under the center/middle of the pelvis. But of course, it is easier to stand on one leg (as gait is merely transferring from one single leg stance to the other repeatedly) when your body mass is directly over the foot. To do this the pelvis has to drift laterally over the stance leg side. Sadly though, you should be able to have enough gluteal and abdominal cylinder strength to stack the foot and knee over the hip. This would mean that the pelvis plumb line should always fall between the feet, which is clearly not the case here. This is sloppy weak lazy gait. It is likely an engrained habit in most people, but that does not make it right. It is pathology, in time something will likely have to give.
This is the cross over gait we have beaten to a pulp here at The Gait Guys over and over … . . and over. This gait this gait, this single photo, means this client is engaging movement into the frontal plane too much, they have drifted to the right. We call it frontal plane drift. To prevent it, it means you have to have an extra bit more of lateral line strength in the gluteus medius and lateral abdominal sling to fend off pathology. You have to be able to find functional stability in the stacked posture, and this can take some training and time. Make no mistake, this is a faulty movement pattern, even if there is not pain, this is not efficient motor patterning and something will have to give. Whether that is lateral foot pain from more supination strategizing, more tone in the ITB perhaps causing lateral knee or hip pain, a compensation in arms swing or thoracic spine rotation or head tilt … … something has to give, something has to compensate.
So, how sloppy is your gait ?
Do you kick or scuff the inside of your opposite shoe ? Can you hear your pants rub together ? Just clues. You must test the patterns, make no assumptions, please.
Shawn Allen, one of the gait guys