by Dr. Brant McCartan
Your podiatrist can tell a lot from the way you walk. By looking at the movements, or lack the of, of almost every part of your body, we can analyze your walk to help explain some of the symptoms our patients are having. When you walk through our office we check a variety of things. We look at the position of your head, your shoulders, your hips, and even your arm swing as you walk. We check the alignment of your knee position to your ankles to your feet through each step. We look at all of this even before we check the way your feet move through each step. In some cases we may even ask you to walk up and down a hallway while your movements are being analyzed. This process is called a gait analysis.
Why is this so important? Well, every step you take involves a coordination of movements that you can do without even thinking about it. Therefore, because each part of your body must work together as a symphony of movements, any part being thrown off can really affect another. That being said, it is well understood that the back pain many patients experience could be a result of the position of your knees, and the way your foot hits the ground. Or your knee pain could be a result of the way your ankle rotates through each step. Even the position of your toes each step can tell us a lot about the leg pain you are having. Remember, everything is connected.
If you are having back, knee, neck, or foot pain and think it may be related to the way you walk – or just want to improve your athletic performance and endurance, come in and have us take a look at your movements. Common solutions can be orthotics, choosing different shoes, and physical therapy. Most biomechanical issues can be adjusted or at least compensated for, so that we can help you alleviate your pain!