Are you walking WELL?

We hope you have enjoyed your summer! While September seems to come around all too quickly, the weather is often still beautiful and warm. Hopefully you have been out and continue to enjoy long walks, adventurous hikes and getting those recommended 10,000 steps in daily!

If you are counting those steps (or not!), are you also paying attention to how your body is performing them? If you are repeating a movement 10,000 times every single day, that movement needs to be efficient and balanced. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Are your steps the same length? 
  • Are you planting with your heel and rolling off towards your big toe? 
  • Are the soles of your shoes wearing evenly? 
  • Are your hips level while you walk or swaying side to side? 
  • Do your arms swing at your sides evenly?

Muscle imbalances and joint restrictions can cause your body to compensate in subtle ways that we may not notice right away. Unfortunately, these compensations can take place for days, months or even years before our body begins to complain of pain! Our bodies are resilient and it can take a long time before pain begins to develop. There are some signs to be aware of that can help us nip things in the bud:

  • You may find that you tire easily, whether that feels like one limb more than the other or a general body fatigue
  • You may have difficulty with uneven terrain, up or down hills
  • You may feel sore in the morning after an activity
  • You may feel like your balance is off (body awareness). Proprioception is one of the first signs of nerve root dysfunctions or muscle imbalances in our body.

Bragg Creek Physiotherapy specializes in gait analysis, muscle and joint testing, and musculoskeletal physical assessments. We often need a trained eye and special tests to identify those subtle compensations our body is so good at performing. If some of these signs are sounding familiar to you, we would love to help you! Please call in for an assessment or a follow up visit with one of our physiotherapists. We also offer personal training sessions to help you work on strength imbalances, improve your cardiovascular fitness or learn some new challenging exercises to break through a fitness plateau. Welcome to fall, a change in season, a potential change in habits and getting back to routine!

Jennifer Gordon (BSc. PT, CGIMS, AFCI)