Have you seen one of these? It is called the “iwalk”. 

What a wonderful tool for folks who need to be non weight bearing below the knee. This gent just had a spur removed from his anterior talus and a microfracture procedure of the medial malleolus.

Yes, it does strange things to your gait but it does make you more ambulatory!

Awkward photos…Date smarter but necessarily walk that way…

Take a look at this photo from an airplane magazine I was leafing through on my way home from teaching a recent needling seminar.

I am not really interested in matchmaking (which this ad is for), but the “awkwardness” of the gait caught my eye (not much on the gait cam this time, sorry).

Yes, their feet and legs seem to be in synch (for the most part), but take a look at the arms and hands. First of all, he has his right hand in his pocket, which will restrict its motion during forward movement of his left leg. In the shot, his right leg is forward (as is hers), though they are slightly out of synch. His left arm and hand don’t move forward that much in that he adducts it across his body, so he seems to move his left shoulder up and forward to compensate. She appears to be resisting this motion somewhat with her right arm as her right leg comes forward and she needs to lean her body to the right. Also note the increased abduction of her left arm and forearm as it extends in tandem with her left leg and thigh.

Try walking with your right arm moving forward with your right leg. Notice how your right shoulder resists moving forward in tandem with the right hip? This is phasic, as Dr Allen likes to say, and because there is not an opposite force to counteract the forward movement of the hip in the saggital plane, you often lean to move the center of gravity to that side in the coronal plane.

Wouldn’t it make slightly more sense, when walking hand in hand to have the opposite legs in synch, rather the same ones? Hmm…Food for thought and fodder. All that from a  little picture : )

When was the last time you thought about the pairing of your glutes and your quadratus? This is an important mechanism, especially when ascending and descending stairs,

Here is a great exercises to help with that:

What do you think of when you watch Zsa Zsa Gabor walk , or a woman like “Madeline” describes in this post?

Hip swing.

Yup, like it or leave it. It is here to stay. And evidently. It makes women more attractive to men (or more likely to attract a mate, click here to read our post on that).

So the question is, Why?

Besides the aesthetically pleasing aspect of this, it is most likely biomechanics. Women (generally) have

a. wider hips,

b. more femoral anteversion (or ante torsion) and

c. an increased Q angle.

This means more:

a. lateral displacement of the pelvis,

b. more internal and less external hip rotation available and

c. more lateral displacement again, with increased demand on the gluteus medius, due to the anatomical attachments.

Yup, there usually is a reason and it is often biomechanical, not aesthetics.

The Gait Guys. Ivo and Shawn. Gait Geeks to the core!


Gait Differences between men and women

J Womens Health Gend Based Med. 2002 Jun;11(5):453-8. Gender differences in pelvic motions and center of mass displacement during walking: stereotypes quantified. Smith LK, Lelas JL, Kerrigan DC. Source

Center for Rehabilitation Science, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract OBJECTIVES:

A general perception that women and men walk differently has yet to be supported by quantitative walking (gait) studies, which have found more similarities than differences. Never previously examined, however, are pelvic and center of mass (COM) motions. We hypothesize the presence of gender differences in both pelvic obliquity (motion of the pelvis in the coronal plane) and vertical COM displacement. Quantifiable differences may have clinical as well as biomechanical importance.

METHODS:

We tested 120 subjects separated into four groups by age and gender. Pelvic motions and COM displacements were recorded using a 3-D motion analysis system and averaged over three walking trials at comfortable walking speed. Data were plotted, and temporal values, pelvic angle ranges, and COM displacements normalized for leg length were quantitatively compared among groups.

RESULTS:

Comparing all women to all men, women exhibited significantly more pelvic obliquity range (mean ISD): 9.4 +/- 3.5 degrees for women and 7.4 +/- 3.4 degrees for men (p = 0.0024), and less vertical COM displacement: 3.7 +/- 0.8% of leg length for women and 3.3 +/- 0.9% for men (p = 0.0056).

CONCLUSIONS:

Stereotypically based gender differences were documented with greater pelvic obliquity and less vertical COM displacement in women compared with men. It is unclear if these differences are the intrinsic result of gender vs. social or cultural effects. It is possible that women use greater pelvic motion in the coronal plane to reduce their vertical COM displacement and, thus, conserve energy during walking. An increase in pelvic obliquity motion may be advantageous from an energy standpoint, but it is also associated with increased lumbosacral motion, which may be maladaptive with respect to the etiology and progression of low back pain.

Imagine having to walk like this AND wear a kilt!

nothing like consciously creating pathologic gait cycles………. as if we don’t have anything better to do. 

In the spirit of traditional medicine…….. “if it hurts when you do this, then don’t do it !”

Have a great Friday

Shawn and Ivo………. two fellas marching on to our own beat