Physiotherapy Or Physiohealth

Walking Pattern to Reduce Force on Weight-Bearing Joints

Written by Dr. Tanushree Agarwal(pt) and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

 
Image: Walking Pattern to Reduce Force on Weight-Bearing Joints

What Is Your Walking Pattern?

While walking daily during my fitness sessions in one of the famous parks, I was observing the gait pattern (the behavior of different body parts while walking) of many enthusiastic body conscious people. In about 90% of these people, the commonest thing I observed was a typical slapping sound coming out of their shoes, which were of varying intensity. They also exhibited hyperextension of the knee joint, of the striking leg. There are millions of people in the world, who are conscious about their health and go for regular fitness sessions. But, have any of us given a thought over this, what is the source of this sound and its consequences?

While walking, a leg completes one full circle of striking the ground, leaving it, moving forward and again striking it back. The phase when the foot strikes the ground, it faces a very high degree of the ground reaction force. It can be measured as approximately, double the body weight of the individual. When this ground reaction force is unable to get absorbed by the body, it transforms into sound energy, as energy can only be transformed and not destroyed. This is the tapping noise that we have. Some part of this energy also gets converted into potential energy, which impacts the weight-bearing joints of the body like foot, ankle, knee, and back, resulting in various ailments. It starts with their malfunctioning and then constant pain.

Nature has provided us with solutions for all our problems, irrespective of the age in which we are living. Our body can easily absorb these forces if we avoid few commonly performed mistakes as follows:

  1. The most commonly performed mistake is, striking the leg with a slightly flexed knee. Knee cannot absorb any shock when it is stretched out completely.
  2. Swinging the arms by the side, like you are imitating the leg movement. This will help in reducing the magnitude of the ground reaction force.

With these precautions, it is also necessary to strengthen our muscles of the foot, knee, and back, as they will reduce wear and tear of the joints. So, go out, continue your morning fitness regime and stay healthier by keeping these points in your mind.

Last reviewed at: 17.Dec.2018

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