The five most frequently asked questions are:
#1 Can how you walk cause a disc problem? Can changing how you walk reduce pain seemingly caused by a disc problem ?
Yes. A style of walking which compresses the low back can, by disuse, weaken the abdomen and the back to the extent that it will blow doing a relatively easy task. And, by learning to walk correctly, i.e. using the abdomen and back muscles with every step you take, you strengthen them and greatly reduce vulnerability to those kinds of injuries. Often the reason for the pain is actually the instability and weakness around the joint and disc. So the strengthening becomes the healer, especially when it’s in the format of a fluid well balanced movement pattern. You can actually Walk Yourself Well.
#2 Could other joints such as ankles, knees, hips, shoulders and necks be badly effected by how you walk?
Absolutely. The obvious ones are ankles, knees and hips. It is clear that if one of these joints is crooked, it will get sore and effect others in a compensatory effort. Shoulders and necks are the surprise. Once you understand how the body works best symmetrically and how it’s all connected, you will understand how a small problem, a sore toe or a stiff neck can eventually cause the whole body to shift. When you walk with this “shift”, you can create real damage someplace far away from the original site of pain. Each weight bearing joint must be balanced and move with symmetry; walking symmetrically will strengthen and heal joints that were formerly out of balance.
#3 Can anyone change how they walk?
Yes. The only people I’ve seen who can’t are the people who think they can’t. Or that addressing something so basic as walking can help. It takes practice and patience. It takes four focused five minute sessions daily using the corrective walking techniques described in my book. That’s all. And you can speed the process by doing some of the complimentary exercises also described and illustrated in the book, and visualizing the changes you would like to see.
#4 What is the most common postural or walking problem?
The Lean Back. There are many ways that this occurs, and they all end up compressing the spine, with a center of gravity that is in back of the feet instead of in between them where it belongs. If when you stand, you find that the majority of your weight is in your heels instead of the balls of your feet, then you lean back, and you are vulnerable in at least one of your major weight bearing joints.
#5 How will learning to walk symmetrically help if there is no pain?
It is perfect preventive medicine. A weight-bearing joint that is out of balance or crooked will not show even an ache until it topples over. Something as small as picking up a shoe or pushing a thumbtack into the wall can cause the joint to topple when the joint is ready to blow. A balanced gait is also the way to your personal highest strength capacity. Muscles are strongest when used in efficient patterns which only balance will allow. Lastly, since we develop our shapes and contours in accordance with how we use muscles, things like double chins, saggy buns, pot bellies and saddlebags can be greatly reduced.