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Footprints in the Snow

Today I went out to clear some of the fresh snow that fell yesterday and found this:

photo 1

 So let’s call this guy “The Mailman.” The Mailman has a decidedly turned out foot position. Let’s see what happens when he continues down the walk.

photo 2

(click on the image to get a better look) You can see that this is not just on the stairs but on level ground. The heels land almost directly in front of each other, as if he is walking with his heels on a narrow balance beam, with his toes sticking off the edge of the beam. The Mailman has weak lateral hips, and poor balance. (Call me Sherlock.)

The Mailman also has tight calves (and most likely tight hamstrings). I can tell this because he is wearing heels as evidenced by the print. If The Mailman were wearing flat (zero drop) shoes, the entire footprint would be flat, but as you can see, there is a gap between the heel print and the forefoot. I guarantee that The Mailman is walking with a quadricep driven gait pattern (hip flexion), and landing on a bent knee.

The Mailman is going to have to cut his career short if he intends on delivering mail well into his golden years. Oh wait, we just learned that our Canada Post home delivery service is going to end. Lucky for him he will have lots of time to study Alignment.

With a straight foot, and a wider stance (distance between feet) he can help save his knees from becoming osteoarthritic, and his hips will become stronger leading to a more balanced gait (and the potential to be independent longer). If he takes to wearing flat shoes and does some stretches to lengthen his calves and hamstrings he might never need Adult Depends, because it’s the pelvic floor that pays the price for the positioning of the pelvis that occurs in this scenario.

Compare The Mailman to the Delivery Girl, seen in this photo:

photo 3

The Delivery Girl is much straighter in her gait pattern, although there is still room for improvement. The feet are a bit narrow but wider than The Mailman’s.  She is wearing a flatter boot as well. I’d say the Delivery Girl is on the right “track.”

What do your footprints tell you?

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