Podcast 103: Effects of Cold on Physiology/Athletes

Using Cold adaptation to your advantage, Walking Rehab “Carries”, Walking and Proprioception.

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Other Gait Guys stuff

A. Podcast links:

direct download URL: http://traffic.libsyn.com/thegaitguys/pod_103f.mp3

permalink URL: http://thegaitguys.libsyn.com/podcast-103-effects-of-cold-on-physiologyathletes

B. iTunes link:

C. Gait Guys online /download store (National Shoe Fit Certification & more !)

D. other web based Gait Guys lectures:
Monthly lectures at : www.onlinece.com type in Dr. Waerlop or Dr. Allen, ”Biomechanics”

-Our Book: Pedographs and Gait Analysis and Clinical Case Studies
Electronic copies available here:


-Barnes and Noble / Nook Reader:


-Hardcopy available from our publisher:

Show Notes:
Switching on a cold-shock protein may restore lost connections between brain cells & memory function in aging brain.  

-“Connections between brain cells – called synapses – are lost early on in several neurodegenerative conditions, and this exciting study has shown for the first time that switching on a cold-shock protein called RBM3 can prevent these losses.

New study in mice in the inaugural issue of Brain Plasticity reports that new brain cell formation is enhanced by running.

Walking changes our mental state, and our mental state changes our walking.  60 sec audio clip.


Walking. You don’t have to have the pedal to the metal.
"Those who walked an average of seven blocks per day or more had a 36%, 54% and 47% lower risk of CHD, stroke and total CVD, respectively, compared to those who walked up to five blocks per week.”

New proprio study:
Piezo2 is the principal mechanotransduction channel for proprioception
Seung-Hyun Woo et al,
Nature Neuroscience 18, 1756–1762 (2015) doi:10.1038/nn.4162Received 14 July 2015 Accepted 13 October 2015 Published online 09 November 2015

Magnesium intake higher than 250 mg/day associated with a 24% increase in leg power & 2.7% increase in muscle mass.

Dietary Magnesium Is Positively Associated With Skeletal Muscle Power and Indices of Muscle Mass and May Attenuate the Association Between Circulating C-Reactive Protein and Muscle Mass in Women

Ailsa A Welch et al.

Gray Cook

Carries, lots of carries

Neuromechanics?  This early in the morning?

It has been a while since we have done a neuromechanics post. While doing some research for one of our PODcasts, We ran across this paper: http://www.ajronline.org/content/184/3/953.full

It’s title?

Midbrain Ataxia: An Introduction to the Mesencephalic Locomotor Region and the Pedunculopontine Nucleus

Yikes! What a mouthful!

What’s the bottom line?

The paper review a condition called “gait ataxia”. In plain English this means “aberrant or unsteady” gait. Things which usually cause gait ataxia originate in an area of the brain called the cerebellum, which coordinates all muscle activity. If you drink to much alcohol, it affects your cerebellum and you have a “wobbly” gait : ).

This paper looks at another area of the brain called the midbrain. It is the top part of the brainstem and contains an important gait integration and initiation center called the “midbrain locomotor nucleus”. The paper looks at 3 different cases and has some cool MRI images to see, along with alot of fancy neurological words and pathways.

Whenever we see gait ataxia, we think of impaired proprioception (look here for a bunch of posts on that, or at this post specifically).

There are many factors to consider when evaluating ataxic (or wobbly) gait, and this just gives us all one more place to look.

The Gait Guys. Making you smarter every day!

Podcast #15: Brain Size, Gait and Evolution to Bipedalism

Here is the link to the podcast:


And it is up on iTunes already.

You don’t want to miss this podcast gang ! Whether you are a runner, walker, trainer, scientist, therapist or just a plain old information junkie, this is a podcast you do not want to miss !


We are not your doctors so anything you hear here should not be taken as medical advice. For that you need to visit YOUR doctors and ask them the questions. We have not examined you, we do not know you, we know very little about your medical status. So, do not hold us responsible for taking our advice when we have just told you not to !  Again, we are NOT your doctors !
6- EMAIL FROM A Blog follower: 
abnewman10 asked you:

Both my big toes planterflex. My right toe has Morton’s toe and elevates when standing in neutral. My left toe elevates and twists inward when standing in neutral – I think I have Rothbarts toe. I have tried two orthotics that drop my big toes and it caused a lot of pain up through my pelvis and back. What are the treatments for Morton’s toe and Rothbart’s toe for the big toe joint – would you use a Morton’s toe joint pad and/or full Morton’s extension? Thank you, Andrea

Exercise Training Increases Mitochondrial Biogenesis in the Brain. A Journal of Applied Physiology topic.

We have included an indirectly related video link today. It will add some spice to a bland topic. This is a video of World Champions Slavik Kryklyvyy and Karina Smirnoff (last years Dancing with the Stars Champion). The video shows complex body motions that they make look simple, particularly at the 2:52 minute mark (right when you think the video is over) where we see the best in the word effortlessly solo demonstrate arguably some of the most difficult body movements, “Cuban/latin motion” of the Cha Cha. Even though the rest of the world embraces dance more than America, it isn’t for everyone. But, when some of America’s best athletes try this stuff and flounder repeatedly in front of America TV audiences despite weeks of practice one must trust the complexity of the motion from foot work to body control. We will see how Green Bay Packers NFL wide receiver Donald Driver will do when he trades in his football cleats for dancing shoes in a few weeks on Dancing with the Stars. There is a reason why top level pro athletes have challenged themselves behind closed doors with this stuff, because it makes them a better athlete. Our point? Master complex motions and simple ones become effortless. Here is a little piece of trivia for you…… name one of the best Latin dancers of all time ? Martial Artist Bruce Lee. Yup, Cha Cha Champion of Hong Kong. Looks like balance, flexibility, coordination, strength and speed of limb movement served him well in both ! We are not trying to pull the wool over your eyes gang, If you watch the first 10 seconds of the video again you can easily see how Slavik’s lightening fast, coordinated fluid moves are very much similar to open martial art moves. You cannot even see his footwork from the inside edges it is so fast. There is a reason we study these complex motions, because everything is simple after this stuff !

Now, onto today’s article discussing complex movements and exercise and their effect on brain function.

Exercise and complex movements put a demand on both the body and the brain. There are numerous articles confirming the positive benefits of continue physical activity through our life, even into our senior years. In fact, many peer reviewed articles confirm that for the elderly one of the best activities with low risk and high benefit is dancing. For the aged, dancing improves and positively challenges joint motion, balance and vestibular issues, cardiovascular health and muscle activity (strength and endurance) to name a few. It is well documented that with demands on the muscular system more mitochondrial production occurs in the muscles.

However, in 2011 in the Journal of Applied Physiology the authors sought to prove or disprove changes in mitochondria in the brain from exercise and activity demands.

In their mouse study (yes, there are human gene correlations with mice studies) where a treadmill to fatigue (8 weeks of treadmill running for 1 hr/d, 6 d/wk at 25m/min and a 5% incline) demand was executed followed up with specimen sacrifice. Twenty-four hours after the last training bout a subgroup of mice were sacrificed and brain (brainstem, cerebellum, cortex, frontal lobe, hippocampus, hypothalamus, and midbrain), and muscle (soleus) tissues were isolated for analysis of mRNA expression of several markers including mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA).

All specimens showed improved Run-to-fatigue (RTF) but the study findings also suggested “that exercise training increases brain mitochondrial biogenesis which may have important implications, not only with regard to fatigue, but also with respect to various central nervous system diseases and age-related dementia that are often characterized by mitochondrial dysfunction.” – Steiner et al.

In the recent issue of Scientific American (link) Feb 29, 2012 the author Stephani Sutherland summarized their article by quoting one of the study’s authors,

“The finding(s) could help scientists understand how exercise staves off age- and disease-related declines in brain function, because neurons naturally lose mito­chondria as we age, Davis explains. Although past research has shown that exercise encourages the growth of new neurons in certain regions, the widespread expansion of the energy supply could underlie the benefits of exercise to more general brain functions such as mood regulation and dementia pre­vention. “The evidence is accumulating rapidly that exercise keeps the brain younger,” Davis says.

* Remember……. the cells in your body, whether in your lungs, your heart or your quadriceps, do not know if you are on a treadmill, in the water, on the dance floor or on the bike. All they know of is the neuro-endocrine/physiological demands that are placed on it by any given activity. This is the premise and value of cross training the body, to expand its challenges and experiences and to reduce repetitive strain type injuries. It is the act of being active that makes the cellular changes, not the activity of choice.

Shawn and Ivo……… keeping up with the research (and keeping it interesting), so you do not have to. We are…… The Gait Guys


J Appl Physiol. 2011 Aug 4. [Epub ahead of print]

Exercise Training Increases Mitochondrial Biogenesis in the Brain.

Source : University of South Carolina.

Abstract (abstract link)

Increased muscle mitochondria are largely responsible for the increased resistance to fatigue and health benefits ascribed to exercise training. However, very little attention has been given to the likely benefits of increased brain mitochondria in this regard. We examined the effects of exercise training on markers of both brain and muscle mitochondrial biogenesis in relation to endurance capacity assessed by a treadmill run to fatigue (RTF) in mice. Male ICR mice were assigned to exercise (EX) or sedentary (SED) conditions (n=16-19/gr). EX mice performed 8 weeks of treadmill running for 1 hr/d, 6 d/wk at 25m/min and a 5% incline. Twenty-four hours after the last training bout a subgroup of mice (n=9-11/gr) were sacrificed and brain (brainstem, cerebellum, cortex, frontal lobe, hippocampus, hypothalamus, and midbrain), and muscle (soleus) tissues were isolated for analysis of mRNA expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1-alpha (PGC-1α), Silent Information Regulator T1 (SIRT1), citrate synthase (CS), and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) using RT-PCR. A different sub-group of EX and SED mice (n=7-8/gr), performed a treadmill RTF test. Exercise training increased PGC-1α, SIRT1 and CS mRNA and mtDNA, in most brain regions in addition to the soleus (P<0.05). Mean treadmill RTF increased from 74.0±9.6 min to 126.5±16.1 min following training (P<0.05). These findings suggest that exercise training increases brain mitochondrial biogenesis which may have important implications, not only with regard to fatigue, but also with respect to various central nervous system diseases and age-related dementia that are often characterized by mitochondrial dysfunction.

This week for neuromechanics, something a little different. A fun video by Mark Gungor about the differences between male and female brains. Sit back, relax and prepare to laugh!

Of interesting historical note; he describes the differences between the male and female brains perfectly as the contrast to early neuronal theory out forth by Ramon Satiago Cajal: Prior to the 1800’s it was thought the nervous system was continuous (much like the female brain wiring) however he (Ramon) proved it was contiguous (ie. there were synapses).

The Gait Guys….Thinking outside the box, even though we have a special “gait box” in our brains.

Ivo and Shawn

A few minutes in our Brains.

We were over at a book store on the weekend and picked up a book called Incognito written by neuroscientist David Eagleman.

The gist of the book was that the majority of brain activity is largely subconscious. That the brain is continuously processing information and working algorithms to questions and problems that we have inquired about either consciously or subconsciously. A conscious example might be pondering which new computer to buy, factoring in price, model, manufacturer, specs, hard drive size, peripherals desired, etc. Over a period of minutes, hours or days you bounce around the issues until you rationalize a best decision for your needs and wallet. On the other end, a subconscious example might be learning a new motor skill in your gait pattern. For example perhaps, a pathologic pattern is the one being learned. In one case the brain may be subconsciously learning to reduce gluteus medius muscle in an attempt reduce hip joint compression forces and thus hip pain due to a degenerative joint cartilage surface (see Dr. Allen’s recent video, Applied Hip Gait Biomechanics, Sept 15). In this scenario the brain was working out the algorithm to solve for the pain. The brain is continuously subconsciously processing to solve these problems, it is always working in the background, in sleep or in a wakeful state. We have all had these epiphany moments where the solution to a problem comes to you seemingly out of the blue. However, it is not the case. The brain had been at it for some time.

Eagleman describes the conscious brain as a CEO who is handed a final product that has been worked on by hundreds of employees for weeks, those employees being the subconscious brain parts. The CEO is the last to know, they only get to see the end success of hundreds of hours of work by the employees, and they often take full credit because they are the CEO afterall. It is a long process to achieve solutions to complicated problems. Afterall, do you really think Steve Jobs made the iPad all by himself ? Some might.

Where are we going with this ?

Unconscious incompetence: you do not know the right foot has turned out during gait.

Conscious Incompetence : someone has brought it to your attention.

Conscious Competence: you find a reasonable motor pattern to turn the foot in, but you must stay conscious of this pattern for the correction to be maintained.

Unconscious Competence: eventually unknowingly achieving the foot alignment correction. Give the brain the correct information … then give it time and the correct supportive exercise and let the brain figure it out. It will bring that foot inline eventually as long as there are not other impeding factors. The key is making sure that the pattern you teach your client , or that you institute yourself, is not a compensation. That’s the hard part ! You have to know what is right before you know what is wrong. Pick the wrong pattern and you find yourself down a fork in the road that is full of potholes and problems. Don’t guess. See someone who KNOWS. We had a guy fly in to see us yesterday and this was exactly the case. Therapy has been prescribed in-part off of a video gait analysis and incorrect physical evaluation. You can’t guess at this stuff. You gotta study!

Coming directly from our temporal lobes, we are…The Gait Guys

The Gait to Happiness (or, What do you mean I walk & run wrong !? )

The Gait to Happiness (or, What do you mean I walk & run wrong !? )