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Are you crippling yourself every time you walk?

01/12/2010
Out turned footprints in the snow.

Out turned footprints in the snow.

I was walking into work yesterday morning, looking at the footprints in the snow, left by someone who had been along before.  This person showed a common problem that can lead to bad things if they are not carefull.  You could see that as they walked, their feet were pointing outwards nearly diagonally!    In other words, they were walking like Charlie Chaplin.  They had “duck feet”.

This seems a small problem, and in the big wide world, it is not that major.  But that is one of the nasty things of it.  Because it is not that much of a major problem, it is ignored and never addressed.  So it lingers and becomes a habit.  And before you know it, this minor, insignificant trifle that you have ignored for years, is causing chronic pain in all your lower joints.  Now it is a big deal because it is preventing you from doing the things you took for granted, or the things you always dreamed of doing.

Pronated feet

Pronated feet

I mention this because not only did I see these footprints in the snow (it looks so gorgeous at 5:30am!) but walking home that afternoon, I was walking behind a young girl wearing boots.  And you couldn’t help but notice that the inside heel of her boots had almost completely worn away, and she had knocked knees (where the knees buckle in towards eachother).  This shows that she had been walking for a long time with pronated feet (where the ankles “collapse in”).

Now I don’t know if the feet had caused the knee problem, or vice versa, but they are almost certainly linked.  And it shows how a small, insignificant problem can fester, spread and become a big problem in other parts of the body.

Knocked knees

Knocked knees

This follows on from my last post about kids PE lessons in school, and how it is important to learn the basic movements skills.  And there is not much more basic than walking in a straight line.

So now while the snow is here and you are bunking off work, take a look at your how you move/walk.  Not only when you are exercising, but in your everyday life also.  And see how making a small change now can pay big dividends later.

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