Arm swing asymmetry: It can be a huge window of education into your client.

Arm swing asymmetry: It can be a huge window of education into your client, if you can get past the dumb stuff we’ve all done (and believed) for decades.
I have beaten you down with arm swing principles over the past few years, sorry about that, but, the beating will continue because it is important to know what arm swing tells you, and what it does not tell you (hint hint for all those improperly coaching arm swing changes). We did an entire tele seminar on the Stage 1 principles of of arm swing (#218) on www.onlinece.com and www.chirocredit.com if you wish to take that archived lecture. Heck $19, how can you lose (see photo).  Arm swing is intimately dependent upon scapular stability, thoracic mobility, breathing, cervical spine function, pelvis stability and clearly ipsilateral and contralateral leg swing not to forget to mention spinal stability. The first signs of spine pain or instability and the counter rotation of the shoulder and pelvic girdles become more phasic, instead of their normal anti phasic nature (moving in opposite directions). This phasic nature reduces spinal shear loads.

Neurologic diseases in their early, middle and late phases can give us a clearer window into how the nervous system is tied together.
Arm swing asymmetry during gait may be a sensitive sign for early Parkinson’s disease.

Here is what this Plate et al study found :
-Arm swing amplitude as well as arm swing asymmetry varied considerably in the healthy subjects.
-Elderly subjects swung their arms more than younger participants. -Only the more demanding mental load caused a significant asymmetry
-In the patient group, asymmetry was considerably higher and even more enhanced by mental loads.
-Evaluation of arm swing asymmetry may be used as part of a test battery for early Parkinson’s disease.

Some facts you should consider:
Parkinson’s Disease will be well advanced before the first signs of motor compromise occurs. So early detection and suspicion should be acted upon early when possible. Reductions or changes in arm swing may be the first signs of neuralgic disease expression and progression. Dual tasking may bring out neurologic signs early, so talk to your clients or have them count backwards to distract the motor programs. Look for one sided arm swing impairment, and when present, be sure to examine all limbs, especially the lower limbs, for impaired function. After all, the arms are like balasts, they can help with postural stability simply by abducting or modifying their swing.  Arm swing changes can include:
– crossing over the body
– more forward sagittal swing and less posterior swing
– more posterior sagittal swing and less anterior swing
– shoulder abduction during swing (and with attributes of the prior two mentioned above)
– less swing with adduction stabilized with torso
– modified through accentuations or dampening of shoulder girdle rotation oscillations, thus less arm swing but more torso swing to protect the glenohumeral and other joints
– and others of course

Arm swing and arm swing symmetry matter. Don’t be a dunce and just train it out or tell your client to do things to change it before you identify the “why” behind it. If it were that simple Ivo and I would have long grown tails and begun eating more bananas. Or maybe we would have already moved to the islands by now. That was random wasn’t it. That’s what Jimmy Buffett said.

“Now he lives in the islands, fishes the pilin’s
And drinks his green label each day
He’s writing his memoirs and losing his hearing
But he don’t care what most people say.
Through eighty-six years of perpetual motion
If he likes you he’ll smile then he’ll say
Jimmy, some of it’s magic, some of it’s tragic
But I had a good life all the way.
And he went to Paris looking for answers
To questions that bother him so.”  -Jimmy Buffett

Hope this helps, now back to that rum.
-Shawn Allen

Gait Posture. 2015 Jan;41(1):13-8. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2014.07.011. Epub 2014 Aug 8.
Normative data for arm swing asymmetry: how (a)symmetrical are we?  Plate A1, Sedunko D2, Pelykh O3, Schlick C4, Ilmberger JR5, Bötzel K6.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25442669

Podcast 103: Effects of Cold on Physiology/Athletes

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

Show Sponsors:
newbalancechicago.com
Softscience.com

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:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-gait-guys-podcast/id559864138

C. Gait Guys online /download store (National Shoe Fit Certification & more !)
http://store.payloadz.com/results/results.aspx?m=80204

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:

-Amazon/Kindle:
http://www.amazon.com/Pedographs-Gait-Analysis-Clinical-Studies-ebook/dp/B00AC18M3E

-Barnes and Noble / Nook Reader:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pedographs-and-gait-analysis-ivo-waerlop-and-shawn-allen/1112754833?ean=9781466953895

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/pedographs-and-gait-analysis/id554516085?mt=11

-Hardcopy available from our publisher:
http://bookstore.trafford.com/Products/SKU-000155825/Pedographs-and-Gait-Analysis.aspx

Show Notes:
Cold
Switching on a cold-shock protein may restore lost connections between brain cells & memory function in aging brain.  
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-30812438

-“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.
http://www.pnas.org/content/111/20/7379.abstract

New study in mice in the inaugural issue of Brain Plasticity reports that new brain cell formation is enhanced by running.
http://neurosciencenews.com/neurogenesis-exercise-memory-3165/

Walking changes our mental state, and our mental state changes our walking.  60 sec audio clip.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/bouncy-gait-improves-mood/

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/…/151119122246.htm

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.”

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/…/151119122246.htm
New proprio study:
http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v18/n12/abs/nn.4162.html
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.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jbmr.2692/full

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.
http://www.readcube.com/articles/10.1002%2Fjbmr.2692?r3_referer=wol&tracking_action=preview_click&show_checkout=1&purchase_referrer=t.co&purchase_site_license=LICENSE_DENIED

Gray Cook
https://duker2p.wordpress.com/2015/11/16/illuminating-insights-gray-cook-part-1/

Carries, lots of carries
https://www.facebook.com/otpbooks/videos/1004044686323688/

Lower limb muscle strategies in low back pain patients.

When your client comes in with knee or foot/ankle issues do not dismiss the history of intermittent or exercise induced low back issues. It is possible that your client may be coming in with a loss of ankle rocker/dorsiflexion.  And, from your physical exam and screens, you may be at a loss as to why their ankle rocker is impaired. This problem further down the chain may simply be a compensation strategy to maintain function and postural integrity due to lumbar functional/fatigue challenges.

So you have sporadic low back pain and knee pain. Could they be linked ?

It has been a long believed rule that it is “all about the core”.  We have learned in recent years that this should be a very loosely accepted rule. 

In an old blog post (link) we stated some deeper truths:

Dr. McGill discusses the basic tenet that the hips and shoulders are used for power production and that the spine and core are used for creating stiffness and stability for the ultimate power transmission through the limb.  He makes it clear that if power is generated from the spine, it will suffer.  As gait experts, you should never forget this principle, if the spine and lumbopelvic interval is not strong/stiff and stable enough, the limbs can over power them and thus your gait, your running, your sport, could be causing you pain as the forces are poorly managed as they attempt to traverse the spine. 

Here we find a study referenced below that suggests that when the lumbopelvic interval is fatigued, that the lower limb muscles may step up activity.  This is a neat concept, not earth shaking by any means, but it nice to have studies that help solidify knowledge of compensation strategies.

“Individuals with low back pain (LBP) have been shown to demonstrate decreased quadriceps activation following lumbar paraspinal fatigue. The response of other lower extremity muscles is unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine changes in motoneuron pool excitability of the vastus medialis, fibularis longus, and soleus following lumbar paraspinal fatigue in individuals with and without a history of LBP.” 

What this study attempted to do was perform a controlled laboratory study designed to compare motoneuron pool excitability before and after a lumbar paraspinal fatiguing exercise. Twenty individuals (10 with history of low back pain) performed isometric lumbar paraspinal exercise until a 25% shift in paraspinal muscle surface electromyography median frequency occurred. 

What they discovered was that the soleus motoneuron pool excitability increased following lumbar paraspinal fatigue independent of group allocation and occurred in the absence of changes in vastus medialis or fibularis longus muscles. 

The authors propose that “increased soleus motoneuron pool excitability may be a postural response to preserve lower extremity function”.

When your client comes in with knee or foot/ankle issues do not dismiss the history of intermittent or exercise induced low back issues. They very well could be coming in with a loss of ankle rocker/dorsiflexion.  And, from your physical exam and screens, you may be at a loss as to why their ankle rocker is impaired.The problem further down the chain may simply be a compensation strategy to maintain function and postural integrity due to lumbar functional/fatigue challenges. 

Dr. Shawn Allen, one of the gait guys.

Reference:

J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2011 Jun;21(3):466-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2011.02.002. Epub 2011 Mar 8.Effects of paraspinal fatigue on lower extremity motoneuron excitability in individuals with a history of low back pain.Bunn EA1, Grindstaff TL, Hart JM, Hertel J, Ingersoll CD.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21388827

Gait: sometimes it is about the ear (sort of).

We have talked on several occasions about the aging population and the high morbidity and mortality rates with falls in this population. We have discussed the eyes, dual tasking, changes in environment and many other factors that play seamlessly into normal gait, things we all take for granted. But the aging population has yet another challenge, declining function of the vestibular apparatus. We often hear about balance, and we tend to treat it without truly thinking that this is a integration of the eyes, ears and proprioceptive systems together. If you have clients with multiple falls for unknown reasons, it is time to send them for a check up of the mechanical components of the vestibular system (and visual check up as well) you should be able to do the functional vestibular assessments in your office for the most part.

Recent studies are showing significant declines in semicircular canal function in each of the canal planes as well as otolith function within the aging population. “These findings suggest that age-related slowing of gait speed is in part mediated by the decreased magnitude of saccular response associated with age. ” -Ferrucci study

While the Agrawal study suggested “an overall decline in semicircular canal as well as otolith function associated with aging, although the magnitude of impairment was greater for the semicircular canals than the otoliths in this elderly population. A better understanding of the specific vestibular deficits that occur with aging can inform the development of rational screening, vestibular rehabilitation, and fall risk reduction strategies in older individuals.”

Dr. Shawn Allen, the gait guys

References:

Otol Neurotol. 2015 Jan 7. [Epub ahead of print]
Association Between Saccular Function and Gait Speed: Data From the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Layman AJ1, Li C, Simonsick E, Ferrucci L, Carey JP, Agrawal Y.

Otol Neurotol. 2012 Jul;33(5):832-9. doi: 10.1097/MAO.0b013e3182545061.
Decline in semicircular canal and otolith function with age.
Agrawal Y1, Zuniga MG, Davalos-Bichara M, Schubert MC, Walston JD, Hughes J, Carey JP.

Pain at toe-off; Stopping Big Toe Impingement with the extensor hallucis capsularis.

Photo: note the AET coming off the EHL tendon in the diagram

What if there was a mechanism in place by which to pull structures out of the way of a joint moving to end range ? If you know your biomechanics, you know this is a true phenomenon on several levels. We know of one at the knee, the articularis genu has been written about having function of drawing the suprapatellar bursa and joint capsule/synovial tissue cephalad (upward) during knee extension preventing an impingement phenomenon during full quadriceps contraction in knee extension loading. 

What if there were a similar mechanism in the big toe ? When teaching we are sometimes asked what joint, that when it goes sour, creates more devastation to the entire biomechanical chain than any other joint. I like to choose the big toe/1st metatarsophalangeal joint because failure to fully push off the big toe at full joint range impairs hip extension, stride and step lengths, and creates compensations far and wide ipsilaterally and contralaterally in the body. Most everyone knows about bunions, turf toe, hallux valgus, sesamoiditis and the like, but there are many other things that can make this joint painful. Today we bring you another “clearing mechanism” that acts to pull synovial and capsular tissues out of a joint that is nearing end range.
As seen in the anatomy dissection photo above, the extensor hallucis capsularis (EHC) is an accessory tendon slip off of the extensor hallucis longus (EHL). Interestingly, one study found that 8% of the dissections showed the EHC came off of the tibialis anterior tendon slip. This EHC accessory slip typically originates off the long extensor tendon (EHL) and traverses medially to the dorsomedial joint capsule region. Some studies suggest it is found in 80-98% of people. We propose it is most likely present in everyone because of the critical nature of its function. We propose that perhaps it may be missed on traditional dissections because of its blending with fascial tissues and because of its sometimes trivial size and girth. Just like when we fully extend our knee we want to be sure the articularis genu will draw the synovial capsular tissue up and out of the patellar/femoral approximation, the EHC has been shown on intra-operative testing to exert a pretension on the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint capsule similarly pulling the synovial-capsular tissue free from the end range dorsiflexing toe. Without this function, synovial-capsular impingement can occur and create pain and an inhibitory arthrogenic reflex to the EHL, tibialis anterior or any other muscles around the joint for that matter. This can act and feel like an acute “turf toe” (hyper-dorsiflexion event) and yet, not be true turf toe osseous impingement.
So if your client has pain at the dorsal joint on end range extension of the great toe, meaning things like toe-off, doing push ups from the ball of the foot, jumping, kneeling or squatting with the hallux in forced dorsiflexion etc, this tendon slip (and its origin, the EHL muscle) should be on your mind and assessment of the anterior compartment for S.E.S. must commence (S.E.S.= skill, endurance and strength, our Gait Guys mantra). This is why you need to intimately understand this important video (link) and need to know how to do this exercise, the shuffle walks (video link) and build clean ankle rocker ranges of motion via S.E.S. of the anterior compartment.  Pulling on the great toe, twisting it like a radio knob, and forcing end range shouldn’t be the biggest guns in your arsenal, logically restoring all the dysfunctional components should be.

We wonder how many of the videos online of people demonstrating big toe mobilizations, toe distractions, fancy exercises and various toe circus tricks to regain motion and function and reduce pain actually truly know about the anatomy and function of the big toe and how ankle rocker and other things can impair its function.  We wonder about these kinds of things.  

Please just remember, the average uneducated viewer is merely looking for solutions to their painful parts. Those in the know have a responsibility to deliver as complete a package as possible, within reason. 

“With great powers (and knowledge) there must also come, great responsibility.”-Stan Lee  

Dr. Shawn Allen

the gait guys

Photo credit link: http://www.wisconsinfootandankleinstitute.com

www.wisconsinfootandankleinstitute.com/img/research/The-Accessory-Extensor-Tendon_fig1.jpg

references:

Foot Ankle Surg. 2014 Sep;20(3):192-4. doi: 10.1016/j.fas.2014.04.001. Epub 2014 Apr 16.
The extensor hallucis capsularis tendon—a prospective study of its occurrence and function.Bayer T1, Kolodziejski N2, Flueckiger G2.

Foot Ankle Int. 2006 Mar;27(3):181-4.
Extensor hallucis capsularis: frequency and identification on MRI.
Boyd N1, Brock H, Meier A, Miller R, Mlady G, Firoozbakhsh K.

Foot Ankle Int. 2004 Jun;25(6):387-90.
The accessory extensor tendon of the first metatarsophalangeal joint.
Bibbo C1, Arangio G, Patel DV.

Podcast 91: Gait, Vision & some truths about leg length discrepancies

Show sponsors:
www.newbalancechicago.com

A. Link to our server:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/thegaitguys/pod_91f.mp3

Direct Download:
http://thegaitguys.libsyn.com/91

Other Gait Guys stuff

B. iTunes link:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-gait-guys-podcast/id559864138

C. Gait Guys online /download store (National Shoe Fit Certification and more !) :
http://store.payloadz.com/results/results.aspx?m=80204

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:

Amazon/Kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/Pedographs-Gait-Analysis-Clinical-Studies-ebook/dp/B00AC18M3E

Barnes and Noble / Nook Reader:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pedographs-and-gait-analysis-ivo-waerlop-and-shawn-allen/1112754833?ean=9781466953895

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/pedographs-and-gait-analysis/id554516085?mt=11

Hardcopy available from our publisher:

http://bookstore.trafford.com/Products/SKU-000155825/Pedographs-and-Gait-Analysis.aspx

Show notes:

Gait and vision: Gaze Fixation
What’s Up With That: Birds Bob Their Heads When They Walk
http://www.wired.com/2015/01/whats-birds-bob-heads-walk/
 
Shod vs unshod
 
Short leg talk:
11 strategies to negotiate around a leg length discrepancy

From a Reader:

Dear Gait Guys, Dr. Shawn and Dr. Ivo,  I was referred to this post of yours on hip IR…http://thegaitguys.tumblr.com/post/14262793786/gait-problem-the-solitary-externally-rotated   I am impressed by the level of details of your understanding of the gait and biomechanics. Although I am still trying to understand all of your points in this post, I would like to ask you:  What if my IR is limited due to a structural issue? The acetabular retroversion of the right hip in my case. 

I.e. if I am structurally unable to rotate the hip internally.
What will happen? 
What would be a solution to the problem in that case? 

Single-leg drop landing movement strategies 6 months following first-time acute lateral ankle sprain injury – Doherty – 2014 – Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/sms.12390/abstract

Hey Gait Guys,

I understand that 1st MP Joint dorsiflexion, ankle rocker, and hip extension are 3 key factors for moving in the sagittal plane from your blog and podcasts so far. I really love how you guys drill in our heads to increase anterior strength to increase posterior length to further ankle rocker. I’ve seen the shuffle gait and was curious if you had a good hip extension exercise to really activate the posterior hip extensors and increase anterior length. 

A case of gait spasticity.

We have been saying it for a long time now. Gait is a huge window into the function of the human brain and nervous system. It is often the first presenting sign that something is wrong. In the case below, a 48 year old woman presented because of a gradually developing spastic gait. 
Lab testing showed mild increases of transaminase and total bilirubin. Blood manganese level was markedly elevated. 
MRI showed high signal intensities at the globus pallidus and cerebral peducles, and bilateral deep white matter, posterior limbs of the internal capsule and right upper cervical spinal cord. 
A diagnosis of Idiopathic portal hypertension was made. 
According to this article:

“Hepatic diseases often show high signal intensities at the basal ganglia on T1-weighted images, and this seemed to be due to accumulation of manganese in our case. Because demyelination or axonal injury of the spinal cord are found in hepatic disease, we speculate that the high signal intensities at the spinal cord on T2-weighted images of our case reflect hepatic myelopathy, which may also be caused by high blood levels of manganese.”

The Gait Guys say once again, “gait changes in a client may be the first clinical presentation of other pathology, not all the time, but enough that you should be looking for anomalies.

Rinsho Shinkeigaku. 2002 Sep;42(9):885-8.
[A case of idiopathic portal hypertension (IPH) with hypermanganemia presenting as spastic gait].
Obama R1, Tachikawa H, Yoshii F, Takeoka T, Shinohara Y.