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5 Common Walking Mistakes You’re Probably Making

For all the health benefits associated with going for a brisk morning stroll, walking is about much more than simply putting one foot in front of the other. And doing it wrong can cause a multitude of problems, from lower back pain to repeated stress on bones and joints.

Feeling those aches and pains? Ditch the stilettos and analyze your gait. These common walking mistakes could be the root of it all.

OVER-STRIDING

Many people have a tendency to step out farther than required when increasing walking speed. Often find yourself speed walking around town due to perceived busyness? Check your gait. Over-striding throws off your natural walking rhythm, leading to a straighter knee and harder heel strike, which puts pressure on the feet.

How to Fix It: Take shorter, quicker steps and focus on rolling through your step by getting a good “push off” with the back foot.

NOT USING YOUR ARMS

The way you use your arms is actually a huge part of walking with good form. Keeping your arms still at your sides or swinging them wildly can slow you down. In fact, walking without much swing in the arm can be a red flag for a lack of spinal support!

How to Fix It: Bend your arms at a 90 degree angle and let them swing naturally and easily, with your shoulders relaxed.

SLAPPING FEET

It may sound like a joke, but “foot slap” is actually a pretty common walking abnormality in which muscle weakness of the anterior tibial muscle or perineal muscles causes the foot to literally slap the ground while walking. A healthy stride starts with a heel strike, then a smooth roll through the foot as it lowers to the ground.

How to Fix It: First, check with your doctor to see if you have a compressed nerve or ruptured disk. If not, avoid crossing your legs while sitting in order to prevent disruption of the perineal nerve, and practice walking with proper form. 

WALKING WITH YOUR HEAD DOWN

Walk tall, walk long, walk loose. Maintaining an upright posture is an important part of proper walking form, as it reduces tension in the neck and allows you to relax your hips and loosen lower back muscles. In the reverse, walking with your head down actually forces the body to work a lot harder to maintain alignment.

How to Fix It: Focus on walking with your head held high, as if you are a ballerina, or a puppet with a string running from the top of your head to your toes.

OVERPRONATION OR SUPINATION

Mild pronation, in which the outside edge of the foot and heel hits the ground before the inside edge — is a normal part of walking or running. Overpronation, however, can cause extreme stress or inflammation on the foot, causing discomfort over time.

Similarly, supination — the opposite extreme, in which the weight of the body rolls onto the outer edges of the feet — also causes issues with alignment, leading to pain in the ankle and along the outside of the leg.

How to Fix It: Check your footwear for arch support and shock absorption, ditch rigid, worn out, or tight shoes, and work with a podiatrist or physical therapist to correct the issue and prevent injury. 

Have you seen a podiatrist before? What did you learn about yourself?

SOURCE: https://www.care2.com/greenliving/5-common-walking-mistakes-youre-probably-making.html


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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.

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