What Does Your Walk Say About You?
The late, great Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees famously told us, “Well you can tell by the way I use my walk I’m a woman’s man: no time to talk.”
How much time you have to talk and whether or not you’re a woman’s man aren’t the only things your walk can say about you. To the well-trained eyes of the staff at Kintec and The Run Centre, your walk is Jive Talkin’ about how your feet, legs, and hips are working.
If your footsteps sound like the bass drum in AC/DC’s crowd pleaser, then you probably need to stretch! Your feet naturally pull back right before they hit the ground, then roll onto the heel when you touch down. If your calf muscles are too tight, they can’t pull back far enough and you touch down with a banging impact instead of a nice landing. Give those calf muscles a nice stretch a few times a day, otherwise all that impact will leave you shakin’ at the knees.
Tight calf muscles can also make you jump up, jump up and get down at the end of each step. When the calf is tight, the ankle can’t bend as far and your heel gets pulled up off the ground really early in the step. This makes it look like you’re taking a little leap with every step. Stretch them out and smooth out your gait before your Achilles tendon packs it up and packs it in.
It isn’t just tight calf muscles that show up in the way that you walk. Tight hip muscles can make you do the twist even when no music’s playing. If these muscles are too tight, it will build up a lot of twisting stress in your leg as you step forward. Then, as your heel lifts there’s a sudden recoil and your foot twists against the ground like you are crushing a cigarette butt. The Twist might look so good (look so fine) on a 1950s dance floor, but tight hip muscles can leave your feet, knees, hips and back shouting in pain.
If your feet or any part of your legs hurt when you walk, it shows. Every painful area has its own distinct limp. Whether you’re dealing with a sore heel, stiff back or arthritic knees, it’ll show up in your steps. Don’t let yourself keep on walking on broken glass – get it checked out!
One of the more serious types of limp is foot drop. It’s typically caused by an injury to the spine or brain, and is a common side effect of strokes and cerebral palsy. The injury cuts off nerve connection to the muscles that pull your foot up towards the shin. Without these muscles, the foot just drops when the leg is lifted to take a step. This drop can cause mad tripping and instability, and just makes walking a lot more work. There are various kinds of braces that can help though, so if you have any kind of foot drop come to Kintec. We stock the best braces ‘cause we got it going on.
If your legs aren’t the same length, your walk can end up hypnotic and funky fresh, but not in a good way. Your steps can end up uneven, and it’ll shake your body like jello. With uneven leg length, y’all gonna 1, 2 step. Our staff don’t love it when y’all 1, 2 step, but we can help you get your smooth flow back.
No matter what rhythm your body’s dancing to as you walk, we’ve heard that song before. If you feel like you’re off the beat, come see the maestros at Kintec and The Run Centre. They’ll help you get your body back to a harmony that Simon and Garfunkel would be proud of.
Kintec Lab Manager