Does Your Body Hurt When You Walk?
As a Rolfer, helping people with their posture and movement, I find myself wondering how did we learn to walk correctly? Or did we?! For many people walking can be a painful thing…in the hips…in the feet…in the back…and so on.
I was out walking the other morning with Gus and saw the footprints in the picture below, and it was very telling. I could hear my mom’s voice in my head as a girl, saying “pick up your feet!” when I was walking. Of course I was a cool kid, and cool kids let their cool Ked-shod feet drag. Not really…I wasn’t a cool kid, but I did let my feet drag!
I started to play with this as Gus and I walked the streets (see, I am a cool kid now). When I kept my hips and legs tight, my footprints revealed that my heals dragged, like the set of footprints in the picture on the left (not to be confused with the dog’s prints!). BUT, when I let my hips and legs relax a little, allowing for some sway in my hips, my foot placement was clean, like the set of footprints on the right. Hmmm….there is something to be learned here readers….
My Hips Hurt When I Walk
Are you holding tension in your hips and legs? Allow them to relax and naturally move as you walk. Walking is not just a front to back movement. We NEED to have side to side movement when we walk, as well. Now, that doesn’t mean you get out there and walk like Jane Fonda swinging your hips aggressively from side to side. Just play with it a little, walking around the house, walking the dog, grocery shopping, etc. Pay attention to how you feel in your body when you allow more movement to come into your gait. You might start to experience that some of your discomfort disappears as more of your whole body moves in walking.
***I do want to put out a small disclaimer. There is so much more to proper movement in walking than just allowing your legs and hips to relax and move naturally. This has been a very simple explanation on how more movement in your legs and hips can improve how you feel as you walk.***
Rolfing Helps Improve Your Gait
You might find that as you do this one hip and leg moves easier than the other, or that there is some pulling and tightness in your low back. This means you might have some tissue restrictions that need to be addressed, and that’s where I can help. Rolfing helps to remove these restrictions, opening the body up, allowing for more fluid movement throughout the entire body.
If you are interested in understanding more about your gait and how Rolfing can help you feel better in movement, no matter what activity you are engaging in, let me know!
Now put on those shoes (and leotard and leg warmers if you are going to disregard my earlier Jane Fonda comment) and take a walk!