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Walking imbalances

DavidZen's picture
Last seen:
3 months 2 weeks ago
11/03/2016 - 11:56am
Walking imbalances

Hi Esther - thanks for your highly valuable forum and web site.

I have pretty much constant low back muscle tightness and spasm on the lower right lumbar spine area. I'm pretty sure its caused by a significant imbalance in how I walk and move it general.

Here is a short video of me walking : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBi2aLgNlHw
slow motion : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANnclGhMbo8

I have been diagnosed with 'mild' C shaped scoliosis and also a longer (~ 1/2") right leg. When walking there is an obvious lean to the right and it looks like a a lot more vertical movement in the right hip than the left. I've visited a couple of PTs and they said there is also a posterior rotation of the right hip. (i.e. from a view looking down from above the right hip rotates posterior relative to the right in the transverse plane)

I've tried walking with my weight more centered which helps a little but does not really help with the chronic low back muscle tension. I also use a heel lift in the left shoe and orthotics in both.

What would you advise in terms of stretching and strengthening to try to improve my walking balance? I've been religiously doing some exercises from the PTs but they are not really helping the problem. Do you know any PTs in the Bay Area who you could recommend who would be experienced diagnosing and addressing this type of imbalance?


Last seen:
3 hours 29 min ago
08/20/2010 - 8:19pm

Thank you for your post, David. Many students with a similar history of back pain patterns, mild scoliosis and pelvic imbalance, foot problems and so on notice irregularities in their walking. 

The right exercises, such as kidney-bean shaping the feet, and stretches, can certainly help with gait. They are invaluable for identifying and waking up sleepy muscles, and for releasing tight, over-used ones. The Gokhale Method teaches carefully selected exercises specifically within the context of our 6-lesson Gokhale Method Foundation Course (or an Initial Consultation) because we find that exercises in isolation are not enough; we need help to change the damaging and counter-productive postural habits which are inextricably bound up with the issues people are trying to address. 

If asked for recommendations, Teachers may sometimes refer a student to other health professionals - happily, many of our teachers are also PTs, Chiropractors, Massage Practitioners, etc. This is not a service we would extend to the general public though as we need to know a student's needs at first-hand to serve them well.

Postural analysis and advice based on videos and photographs is wonderfully helpful (and safe!) when students receive it from GM Teachers who are working with them, and know their history and situation. Gokhale Method students are then in a position to benefit from and safely understand their teacher's advice, particular terminology, and so on.

Also, walking is tricky; that's why it comes towards the end of both the book and the Foundation Course, when all the necessary supporting skills have been learned, and your whole structure benefits. Esther Gokhale's book, "8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back", illustrates this journey comprehensively and would be a great starting point for you, as would attending a Free Workshop. You will be able to locate or request one in your area: http://gokhalemethod.com/classes-services/free-classes  Alternatively you can find Gokhale Method Foundation Courses in and close to your area at: http://gokhalemethod.com/class_locations


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