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Posture, gait and knee pain

If you are bothered by back pain, knee pain, hip pain and headaches, it is worth paying attention to the way you walk. Let’s talk about posture, gait and knee pain.

Correct and incorrect gait

In the correct gait, the spine is straight, the head, shoulders and pelvis are almost motionless and the arms move in time with the walk. The weight of the body is shifted smoothly from foot to foot, and the width of the stride does not exceed two lengths of the foot. With each step, some muscles relax and others contract alternately. In total, more than 200 muscles are involved in walking.

If the normal walking mechanism is disturbed, the correct muscle does not switch on in time, and its antagonist does not relax. Muscle imbalance can occur. Muscle spasms, tension and pain occur. Some muscles get shorter and others weaker. You can try to correct this imbalance with massages, chiropractors or osteopaths, but the problem will quickly return. In fact, after the session, you will again reproduce the same motor errors that brought you to the specialist.

Some causes of gait disorders

One of the most common types of gait disturbance is a ‘dormant’ gluteus maximus muscle. It should stabilise the pelvis when walking, but it does not. A whole cascade of muscle imbalances and characteristic pain ensues. The instability of the pelvis is accompanied by weakness of the rectus abdominis, gluteus major and gluteus medius, shortening of the sternum, lumbosacral, quadriceps lumbus, oblique abdominis and rectus femoris muscles. The function of the hip joint is impaired, and it begins to deteriorate and become painful because the load is being redistributed on it.

The function of the gluteus maximus muscle is to push the leg forward when you step. Look at the photos of runners, they run with a straight body, without shifting the centre of gravity forward, due to the strength of the gluteal muscles. If the gluteal muscle pushes the leg forward with each step, not only will the butt become prettier, but also:

  • the pelvis will be stable, it won’t tilt, tilt sideways or twist;
  • the hip joints won’t be stressed, they won’t collapse and they won’t hurt;
  • the stride will become looser and the gait lighter and more beautiful.

Conversely, if the gluteal muscles are not doing their job:

  • the lumbosacral and rectus femoris muscles gradually shorten, the stride becomes heavy;
  • the quadriceps muscle is shortened or overstretched;
  • the back extensors are overstretched because the lumbar spine is actively involved in the step;
  • the pelvis becomes unstable;
  • the pain in the lower back, hips and knees.

To remind your body of the correct movement pattern, sometimes do the following: put a stick behind your hips, grasp it with your hands and walk like that for 5-10 minutes. Your gait is fine if it is as easy to walk with the stick as without it. And don’t forget another great way: walking with a book on your head.