“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Walking is, for most people, the most basic and fundamental actions we can take. It is our primary means of locomotion. While we can run or jog, walking is the easiest and most natural movement for getting around.
Until it isn’t.
When It Hurts to Walk
Walking appears to be a simple set of actions. Why, you just put one foot in front of the other. In actuality, it is far more complex than that.
According to an article reviewing the efforts of creating robots that can walk like humans,
“Most people likely take walking for granted, but it is in fact a highly complex process. A single step requires you to use nerves signals from your entire body to figure out the position of the foot, the slope of the ground, and the relative location of the rest of the body.
Your brain then performs numerous calculations in under a second to determine how to maintain balance and to have dozens of muscles make tiny corrections to keep you upright. People are often unaware of all the unconscious effort that goes into simply walking, but robotic engineers are painfully aware of the complexity they are trying to replicate.”
Walking involves a systemic and complex interrelationship between the feet, ankles, knees, and hips. As a result, chronic pain or a lingering injury in the feet can lead to dysfunctional movement, compensatory movement, and pain in areas far from the feet.
In addition, developing and maintaining a correct walking gait is essential for avoiding aches and pains that may result simply from walking. In other words, walking shouldn’t hurt in normal circumstances.
A “correct” walking gait, includes proper posture, a smooth walking step motion, and a natural stride. Consequently, if pain results during or after walking, especially foot pain, this can be a strong indication of a gait issue or dysfunction. To determine if this is the problem, an analysis of the walking gait is needed.
The good news is that we can use Anatomy in Motion™ (AiM) therapy to determine any dysfunction.
Walking, Foot Pain, and AiM
At Pain and Performance solutions, we incorporate the biomechanics philosophy known as Anatomy in Motion™, AiM™ into our diagnosis of foot pain and pain associated with gait dysfunctions.
This is accomplished by using guided movements and then recording how your body responds to the pain caused by those movements. AiM™ treatments can reveal the ways in which your posture is affecting the pain in your feet by the way you are moving.
The AiM methodology was developed by Gary Ward who noted that,
“What we know at AiM is that things can change when we are upright and in motion; and it changes by creating organised movement arrangements of your joints and structures which ultimately help us to make sense of the muscles and the role they play in movement too.
This… highlights the anatomical inter-relationships of your joint structures that your body would ideally have access to in order to explore and enjoy optimal and efficient movement in your lower limb and even create a framework to liberate your whole body. The more efficient your base, the more balanced may be the spine.”
The goal with AiM™ movement treatments is for us to learn how to move you away from pain naturally. Once this happens, your body will begin to work properly and return to its full potential.
So, How Does Anatomy in Motion™ Work?
The fundamental process that is the core of AiM™ is known as the Flow Motion Model™. This is essentially a complete “road map” for the structure of the moving human body and the journey the body takes through the gait cycle.
This model was created by AiM™ founder Gary Ward and his philosophy is founded on principles of movement that are influenced by how we walk, or our gait.
Gary Ward describes the Flow Motion Model™,
“It is the study of what appears to really happen when efficient and flowing gait is observed and has been deduced through the use of slow motion – slowing the body down to get a clear picture of what is happening in each major structure and each joint in the three dimensions of human movement from the foot and journeying upwards through the kinetic chain.”
In addition, there are many techniques we can use such as the SFMA that are effective for assessing the larger areas of our body like the hip, pelvis, knee, thorax, and head. While these are definitely useful, none of them can provide the depth of insight into the foot that comes from utilizing AiM™.
Pain and Performance Solutions Can Help
If you experience pain while walking, the first step in recovery and relief is for us to get to know you and your pain issues. During your first appointment, we will work with you to learn about your present discomfort as well as any history of discomfort.
After a full examination, we can determine which form of treatment is needed to help you on your road to recovery, such as Anatomy in Motion™ and Active Release Technique®.
Because the human body will try to compensate for pain, by shifting that pain around to alleviate your discomfort, the dysfunctional movements that result can lead to other forms of pain.
Getting chronic pain relief with therapies such as Active Release Technique® can only begin when we can understand where your pain started. That could mean it started previously with another injury you might have sustained.
Your trust in us is key, as is your honesty. Ultimately, getting your body working properly and healthy is the only way to achieve total recovery. So, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help and will answer any, and all questions that you may have.
You can reach us at (707) 636-4404 or by filling out our online contact form.