The Hip "Airplane"

Here’s another great hip strengthening exercise for the gluteus medius, minimus, deep six external rotators as well as proprioceptive components about the hip. It is often used in conjunction with the hip helicopter exercises.

Dr Ivo Waerlop, one of The Gait Guys

#hipairplaneexercise #hippain #deep6extrenalrotators #gaitguys #proprioception #proprioceptiveexercises #thegaitguys


https://vimeo.com/371217385

What does "hip drop" look like?

Watch this gal running on a treadmill at a 1.5% grade at about a 10 minute mile pace. Note that when she is in stance phase on one leg, the contralateral side of the pelvis “drops“. Up to an inch of vertical oscillation of the entire pelvis is expected, but the unilateral “dip” often signals a problem.

The gluteus medius is also known as the “deltoid“ of the hip. It is active pretty much from the time the foot hits the ground until it leaves the ground ( all of stance phase). It is paired anatomically and neurologically with the contralateral quadratus lumborum. Together this pair helps to keep the pelvis level when walking with the gluteus medius pulling the pelvis up from the opposite side and the contralateral quadratus lumborum on the swing leg side lifting the pelvis up.

When you see the pelvis “dip”on the swing leg side or “cruise“ to the stance leg side, this generally means that there is some weakness of pelvic abduction. This can be due to a weakened gluteus medius on the stance leg side, weak quadratus lumborum on the swing leg side, both, or sometimes as a compensation for a leg length discrepancy.

Remediation would include closed chain exercises like hip helicopters and airplanes as well as penguin walks along with gait retraining of the stance leg gluteus medius and swing leg quadratus lumborum. We’ve had success utilizing K tape as well with an inverted triangle over the gluteus medium and an “X” pattern with a vertical strip on the lateral aspect for the quadratus.

Dr. Ivo Waerlop, one of The Gait Guys

#pelvicdip #gluteusmediusweakness #quadratuslumborum #hipdrop

The “ banana foot”

IMG_7018.jpg

So, you see at foot that looks like this and what do you think? What are some of the biomechanical characteristics of people with the foot that when, you bisect the calcaneus, the line passing forward passes lateral to the second metatarsal or a line between the second and third?

This condition can be congenital, in conditions like forefoot adductus or compensatory.

The first thing that springs to mind when we see deformities like this is “things usually occur in threes“. So we would expect to see other anatomical and/or genetic abnormalities. An adducted forefoot, like you see here, often occurs as the result of lack of internal rotation of the hip on that side so therefore will often be present with conditions like internal tibial torsion and femoral retrotorsion, which we often, but not always, see together. Because of the increased gait and foot progression angle in these individuals, the forefoot compensates and adducts to bring the center of gravity more to midline.

Feet like this are often, but not always, cavus and rigid. If it remains in relative supination (plantarflexion, abduction and inversion) it is an excellent level but poor shock absorber.

Forefoot adduction can also be a compensation pattern if an individual is unable to get the head of their first ray completely down to the ground. It could be a true forefoot varus or more commonly, a forefoot supinatus; either results in an inability to get the first ray down. This often causes the foot to adduct in compensation, and, due to the tarsal articulations, often raises the base of the first metatarsal increasing the inclination angle of the first ray. This frequently leads to limited dorsiflexion of the first metatarsophalangeal articulation.

So what is a clinician to do?

Ensure that the mechanics of the foot are clean through manipulation and mobilization

Make sure there are appropriate flexors/extensor ratios of skill, endurance, and strength of the foot musculature both intrinsically and extrinsically. This means making sure that the long flexors and extensors are in some degree of balance.

Work on balance and coordination of the lower extremity. This can be impeded if they’re unable to get ahead of the first right down to the ground. Exercises for the peroneus longus, extensor hallucis brevis and short flexors of the foot will often help with this.

“Banana foot”. Coming to your clinic, or a clinic near you. Maybe today…

Dr. Ivo Waerlop, one of The Gait Guys.

#forefootadductus #bananafoot #supination #thegaitguys

Unilateral calcaneal valgus: what can it mean?

right calcaneal valgus

right calcaneal valgus

Take a good look at this picture and what do you see? Do you see the calcaneal valgus on the right side. What runs through your mind?

Possibilities for causing this condition, as well as the clinical implications are numerous.

The short list should include:

  • A shorter leg on the contralateral side: often times we will pronate more on the longer leg side to compensate for a short leg on the opposite

  • Increased rear foot and/or fore foot pronation on the valgus side. Laxity of the spring ligament or incompetency of the musculature which helps to maintain your arch (tibialis posterior, foot intrinsics, tibialis anterior to name a few) often causes more collapse on the effected side

  • A lack of available rearfoot eversion on the contralateral side. It may be that the increase calcaneovalgus is normal and the opposite side is more rigid.

  • If you were seeing this in the middle of the gait cycle it could be that that is their strategy to get around a loss of hip extension or ankle rocker

  • External tibial torsion on that side. Go ahead, stand up and spin your right foot into external rotation and keep your left foot with a normal progression angle. Can you see how your arch collapses to a greater degree on the side with the external torsion? Remember that pronation is dorsiflexion, eversion and abduction.

  • Internal tibial torsion on the contralateral side. Internal tibial torsion puts the foot into supination which makes it into more of a rigid lever rather than mobile adapter.

    And the list goes on…

    Next time you see a unilateral deformity like this, hopefully some of these things run through your mind and will help you to pinpoint where the problem actually is.

    Dr Ivo Waerlop, one of The Gait Guys

    #calcanealeversion #rearfootvalgus
    #lowerextremitydeformities

Foot Types? Do they really matter?

IMG_6218 copy.jpg

The answer is " yes, often times".

Did you miss our 3rd Wednesdays presentation last week on foot types and obligate biomechanics (and pathomechanic) that ensue? Here is the video feed that you can watch and get ce credits for:

https://www.chirocredit.com/course/Chiropractic_Doctor/Biomechanics_214

#foottypes #biomechanics #thegaitguys

Asymmetries can make all the difference…

Take a good look at these pictures of this gentleman’s feet. Can you see any differences from side to side?

If you look closely, you’ll notice that his right foot is in and abducted position (4 foot adductus) and relatively normal. Asymmetries can make all the difference…

IMG_7024.jpg
IMG_7023.jpg



Take a good look at these pictures of this gentleman‘s feet. Can you see any differences from side to side?

If you look closely, you will notice that his right foot is in an adducted position (forefoot adductus) and the left one relatively normal. If you bisect the heel, it should pass through the second or between the second and third metatarsal in his clearly falls laterally.

So what you say?

Well, putting a foot in relative supination with respect to the other causes certain biomechanical sequela. This forefoot adductus often leads to a forefoot supinatus, so he’s unable to get the head of his first ray down to the ground. Think that might make a difference in his gait cycle?

Think about all the extra internal rotation that will have to occur in that lower extremity during a normal gait cycle. Now combine that with something like external tibial torsion or a leg length discrepancy and things can really stack up and make a big difference.

Lastly, think about the asymmetrical mechanoreceptor input from the joint mechanoreceptors and muscle spindles traveling up the neuraxis. Do you think over time that that may cause some cortical remodeling and ultimately change the way he activates muscles?

Look for asymmetries, they really do matter

Dr Ivo Waerlop, one of The Gait Guys

#asymmetriesmatter #gaitanalysis #thegaitguys #forefootadductus

Obligate Pathomechanics

Much of what we see in gait analysis is secondary to the anatomical and physiological constraints exhibited by a patient. Take a look at this gentleman running. At first glance, you may be saying “yup, crossover gait, strengthen the gluteus medius complex“.

Now let’s talk about his physical exam. He has “windswept biomechanics“, With external tibial torsion on the right and internal table torsion on the left. There is no significant difference or increase in his Q angles bilaterally. He has a forefoot supinatus on the right side (I.e his forefoot is inverted with respect to his rear foot). He has limited plantar flexion of the first Ray complex on the right.

Now watch the video again with this in mind. Can you understand that if he’s unable to get his first ray to the ground he’s going to have any sort of hike your push off, in order to get it to the Ground he’ll need to mediately rotate his lower extremity and increase the valgus angle on that side. External tibial torsion (when you drop a plum line from the tibial tuberosity, it passes medial to a line passing to the long axis of the second metatarsal) compounds this. Stand up, rotate your right foot to the outside, keep it there and walk forward. Do you see how your knee has to go to the inside to push off your big toe?

Yes, he has a crossover gait but it is obligate and a direct function of his inability to descend the first ray, at least partly due to his forefoot supinatus and his external tibial torsion on the right.

Obligate pathomechanics. Coming to a patient in your office or one of the folks you are coaching soon.

We will be talking about foot types and pathomechanics tonite, October 16th, 2019, on our 3rd Wednesday’s teleseminar on onlinece.com: Biomechanics 314

5 pacific, 6 mountain, 7 central, 8 eastern

Dr Ivo Waerlop, one of The Gait Guys

Determining foot types...In a nutshell

Screen Shot 2019-10-15 at 8.31.27 PM.png

We talked yesterday about how foot types (i.e., the forefoot to rear foot relationship) can often produce predictable pathomechanics. Here's How to do it. Pretty basic, eh? Its the characteristics, along with the other anatomical goodies they may have that helps to clinch the diagnosis and dictate treatment.

To find out about how to apply your newfound knowledge, join us tomorrow night on our 3rd Wednesdays tele seminar: Biomechanics 314 on online.com

5 PST, 6MST, 7CST, 8EST

Foot types: do they really matter?

forefoot varus: note how the forefoot is inverted with respect to the rear foot

forefoot varus: note how the forefoot is inverted with respect to the rear foot

Foot type. You know what we are talking about. The relation in anatomically and in space of the rear foot to the forefoot. We believe that this anatomical relationship holds key clinical insights to predictable biomechanics in that particular foot type.

Simply put, the rear foot can be either inverted, everted or neutral; Same with the forefoot. If the rear foot is inverted we call that a rearfoot varus. If the foot is inverted we call that a forefoot varus. If the rear foot is everted we call that a rear foot valgus and if the forefoot is inverted we call that a forefoot valgus.

Now think about the simple motions of pronation and supination. Pronation is dorsiflexion, eversion and abduction; supination is plantar flexion, inversion and adduction. If it remains in eversion, we say that it is in vslgus and that means they will be qualities of pronation occurring in that foot while it is on the ground. If the foot is inverted, it will have qualities of supination.

We think of pronation as making the foot into a mobile adapter and supination is making the foot into a rigid lever.

During a typical gait cycle the foot is moving from supination at initial contact/loading response to full pronation at mid stance and then into supination from mid stance to terminal stance/pre-swing. I know that if the foot remains and pronation past mid stance that it is a poor lever and if it remains in supination prior to mid stance it will be a poor shock absorbers. Foot type plays into this displaying or amplifying the characteristics of that particular foot type during the gait cycle: if this occurs at a time other than when it supposed to occur, then we can see predictable biomechanics such as too much pronation resulting in increased rear foot eversion, midfoot collapse, abduction of the forefoot and internal rotation of the knee with most often medial knee fall. Now, consider these mechanics along with any torsions or versions in the lower extremity that the patient may have.

This Wednesday night we will be discussing foot types and their biomechanics. Join us on onlinece .com for Biomechanics 314 6:00 MST

Dr Ivo Waerlop, one of The Gait Guys

3 clues that someone has internal tibial torsion

Watch this video a few times through and see what you notice. There are three clues that this patient has internal tibial torsion, can you find them?

He presented with right sided knee pain, medial aspect of the patella and medial joint line as well as tenderness over the medial joint line and pes anserine. Lower extremity musculature test strong and 5/5 save for his semi tendinosis on the right which tested 4/5.He has diminished endurance bilaterally in the external obliques

1. Note how his knees, right greater than left, fall outside the sagittal plane

2. Note the decreased progression angle of both feet during forward motion

3. Note how he toes off in supination, right greater than left.

This patient’s knee pain is coming from irritation of the pes anserine, particularly semitendinosus and his inability to recruit his abdominals sufficiently so, instead of the usual pattern of recruiting iliopsoas or rectus femoris, he chooses his sartorius, gracious and semi tendinosis.

Pay attention to how the new tracks, the progression angle as well as if they tow off in pronation, neutral, or supination in that can offer subtle clues to internal tibial torsion.

Dr Ivo Waerlop, one of The Gait Guys

#internaltibialtorsion #gaitanalysis #thegaitguys

https://vimeo.com/365342814

Podcast 152: Michael Lucchesi : Head Coach, Second City Track Club

IMG_2446.JPG

Michael Lucchesi : Head Coach, Second City Track Club
An insightful interview with a great coach, he is one to watch.

Links to find the podcast:
Look for us on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Podbean, PlayerFM, RADIO and more.
Just Google "the gait guys podcast".

Our Websites:
www.thegaitguys.com
Find Exclusive content at: https://www.patreon.com/thegaitguys
doctorallen.co
summitchiroandrehab.com
shawnallen.net

Our website is all you need to remember. Everything you want, need and wish for is right there on the site.
Interested in our stuff ? Want to buy some of our lectures or our National Shoe Fit program? Click here (thegaitguys.com or thegaitguys.tumblr.com) and you will come to our websites. In the tabs, you will find tabs for STORE, SEMINARS, BOOK etc. We also lecture every 3rd Wednesday of the month on onlineCE.com. We have an extensive catalogued library of our courses there, you can take them any time for a nominal fee (~$20).

Our podcast is on iTunes and just about every other podcast harbor site, just google "the gait guys podcast", you will find us.

Where to find us, the podcast Links:
Apple podcasts:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-gait-guys-podcast/id559864138?mt=2

Google Play:
https://play.google.com/music/m/Icdfyphojzy3drj2tsxaxuadiue?t=The_Gait_Guys_Podcast

other links for today's show:

http://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/id/11417267

Direct download: http://traffic.libsyn.com/thegaitguys/WOC3_mikeL_-_92719_5.06_AM.mp3

http://thegaitguys.libsyn.com/michael-lucchesi-head-coach-second-city-track-club


Find Michael at,


Secondcitytc.com

https://www.instagram.com/secondcitytc/

https://www.instagram.com/sctcelite/

https://www.facebook.com/secondcitytc/


The effects of aging on the proprioceptive system

When the nervous system breaks down, there are predictable patterns that we can see. Aging isn't that much different in the grand scale of things than some neurological disorders. Here is a brief video of a gentleman that presented to us with neck discomfort and limited range of motion. Step through it several times before proceeding.

Hopefully, you noted the following:

  • Increased arm swing on the right (or, decreased on Left)

  • Pelvic shift to the left on Left stance phase

  • Decreased step length on the left

  • Hip hike on Left during Right stance phase


The patient DOES NOT have a leg length deficiency.

We remember that there are 3 systems that keep us upright in the gravitational plane:

1. vision
2. vestibular system

3. proprioceptive system

We also remember that as one of these systems become impaired, the others will usually increase their function to help maintain homeostasis. All these systems are known to decline in function with aging. So we have 3 systems breaking down simultaneously.

Did you also note the head forward posture, to move the center of gravity forward? How about the subtle head tilt to the right and “bobble” right and left? Motions which have to do with the head are functions of the vestibular system. He is attempting to increase the input to these areas (by exaggerating movements) to increase input.

How about the glasses? Presbyopia (hardening of the lens) makes it more difficult to focus. Movement (detected largely by rods in the eyes have a much higher density than cones, which are for visual acuity). By moving the head, he provides more input to the visual (and thus nervous system)

Amplified extremity movements provide greater input to the proprioceptive system (muscle spindles and golgi tendon organs (GTO’s), as well as joint mechanoreceptors).

Think of the cortical implications (and effects on the cerebellum, the queen of motor activity and important component for learning). You are witnessing the cognitive effects of aging playing out on the ability to ambulate and its effect on gait.


So what do we do?

  • Improve quality of joint motion, whether that is mobilization or manual methods to improve motion where motion is lost. Perhaps acupuncture to help establish homeostasis and improve muscular function. There are many options.

  • Postural advice and exercises

  • Core work

  • Proprioceptive exercises (like head repositioning accuracy, heel to toe and heel to shin)

  • Gait retraining


You get the idea. Providing some of that increased input for him and helping the system to better process the information will be the key to improving his function and helping to counteract and maybe slow the effects of aging on the locomotor system.

We are the Gait Guys; giving you the info so we can all make a difference, every day


We will be talking about some principals of proprioceptive rehabilitation along with 2 cases of neurological disorders Wednesday evening for our "3rd Wednesdays" talk on online.com: Biomechanics 321. 5 PST, 6MST, 7CST, 8EST

Special thanks to RM, who allowed us to use this video for this discussion.

When the nervous system breaks down, gait becomes more primitive.

Whether we are looking at an injury or a neurological disorder, when something goes awry, we can almost always predict that the gait pattern will start to decompose. We can learn a lot about gait from watching this kiddo walk. An immature nervous system is very similar to one which is compensating meaning there will often "cheat" around a more proper and desirable movement pattern; we often resort to a more primitive state when challenges beyond our ability are presented. This is very common when we lose some aspect of proprioception, particularly from some peripheral joint or muscle, which in turn, leads to a loss of cerebellar input (and thus cerebellar function). Remember, the cerebellum along with the upper brainstem is a temporal pattern generating center so a loss of cerebellar sensory input leads to poor pattern generation output.

Watch this clip several times and then try and note each of the following:

  • Wide based gait; this is because proprioception is still developing (joint and muscle mechanoreceptors and of course, the spino cerebellar pathways and motor cortex)

  • increased progression angle of the feet: this again is to try and retain stability. External rotation allows them to access a greater portion of the glute max and the frontal plane (engaging an additional plane is always more stable).

  • Shortened step length: this keeps the center of gravity close to the body and makes corrections for errors that much easier This immature DEVELOPING system is very much like a mature system that is REGRESSING. This is a paramount learning point !)

  • Decreased speed of movement; this allows more time to process proprioceptive clues, creating accuracy of motion

  • Sometimes we see increased arm and accessory movements, again to try and increase proprioceptive input and provide additional stability.


Proprioceptive clues are an important aspect of gait analysis, in both the young and old, especially since we tend to revert back to an earlier phase of development when we have an injury or dysfunction.

We will be talking about these principals along with 2 cases of neurological disorders and more this Wednesday evening for our "3rd Wednesdays" talk on online.com: Biomechanics 321. 5 PST, 6MST, 7CST, 8EST


Dr Ivo Waerlop, one of The Gait Guys

#gaitanalysis #decompositionofgait #proprioception #neurologicaldisorder #thegaitguys






What a difference a few months makes

Take a look at the pre-and post videos of this gal with a forefoot supinatus and impaired motor control of her feet and core. Shuffle walks, foot intrinsic exercises, core work and gait retraining can go a long way! The important thing to remember here is that the patient was very motivated and did what was required to make things happen. A testament to tenacity and dedication

Dr Ivo Waerlop, one of The Gait Guys

#beforeandafter #gaitretraining #gaitanalysis #forefootsupinatus

Yep, these shoes stink for this gal...

IMG_6882.jpg

Look at the left shoe and compare it to the right. See how the upper is canted on the outsole? This “varus cant” can create lots of problems or could actually be beneficial, believe it or not, depending upon the pathology.

In this particular persons story, it was NOT a good thing. They have an anatomical short leg on the left-hand side. If you remember from following us here in the past, generally speaking, the shorter leg tide tends to be more supinated and the forefoot tends to be in more varus. This means more of a “reach” with that foot during the contact phase of gait, Whether that’s running or walking. This generally means that the forefoot will pronate more on the long leg side.

This shoe “defect“ may actually be benefit for someone who has too much rear or mid foot pronation as it would “delay” pronation by starting to rearfoot in an inverted position at heel strike.

The Fix?

You could grind the sole into varus an equal amount to equal the varus cant. In our opinion, not a good idea.

You could return the shoe (that’s what this person is doing) and get another one

In addition, you could…

Give the person a 3 mm sole lift to correct for the leg length discrepancy

Make sure they have adequate range of motion in the first ray on the short leg side to be be able to plantar flex the 1st ray and reach the ground

Make sure they have adequate control of the core musculature as well as foot intrinsic musculature during stance phase.

Dr Ivo Waerlop, one of The Gait Guys

#badshoes #theshoeistheproblem #forefootvarus #leglengthdifference
#gaitproblem

Podcast 151: Gait and neurology of movement, including, Tightness? shortness? What’s the difference? It's the Neurology.

Truths about Stretching, a case of sesamoiditis, plus exercised induced muscle damage and impaired motor learning, central fatigue, POSE and Chi running and injuries. This is a good one gang, do not miss it !

Links to find the podcast:
Look for us on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Podbean, PlayerFM, RADIO and more.
Just Google "the gait guys podcast".

Our Websites:
www.thegaitguys.com
Find Exclusive content at: https://www.patreon.com/thegaitguys
doctorallen.co
summitchiroandrehab.com
shawnallen.net

Our website is all you need to remember. Everything you want, need and wish for is right there on the site.
Interested in our stuff ? Want to buy some of our lectures or our National Shoe Fit program? Click here (thegaitguys.com or thegaitguys.tumblr.com) and you will come to our websites. In the tabs, you will find tabs for STORE, SEMINARS, BOOK etc. We also lecture every 3rd Wednesday of the month on onlineCE.com. We have an extensive catalogued library of our courses there, you can take them any time for a nominal fee (~$20).

Our podcast is on iTunes and just about every other podcast harbor site, just google "the gait guys podcast", you will find us.

Where to find us, the podcast Links:
Apple podcasts:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-gait-guys-podcast/id559864138?mt=2

Google Play:
https://play.google.com/music/m/Icdfyphojzy3drj2tsxaxuadiue?t=The_Gait_Guys_Podcast

Other links for today's show:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/thegaitguys/pod_151final.mp3

http://thegaitguys.libsyn.com/gait-and-neurology-of-movement-including-tightness-shortness-whats-the-difference-its-the-neurology

http://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/id/11168369

Show notes and links:

We lose muscular Strength as we age.
Changes in supra-spinal activation play a significant role in the age-related changes in strength.
This motor system impairment can be improved by heavy resistance training
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25940749

Age (Dordr). 2015 Jun;37(3):9784. doi: 10.1007/s11357-015-9784-y. Epub 2015 May 5.
Strength training-induced responses in older adults: attenuation of descending neural drive with age. Unhjem R1, Lundestad R, Fimland MS, Mosti MP, Wang E.

Osteoarthritis and running
https://journals.lww.com/acsm-csmr/Abstract/2019/06000/Running_Dose_and_Risk_of_Developing.5.aspx
Recent literature adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that lower-dose running may be protective against the development of osteoarthritis, whereas higher-dose running may increase one's risk of developing lower-extremity osteoarthritis. However, running dose remains challenging to define, leading to difficulty in providing firm recommendations to patients regarding the degree of running which may be safe.

Can even experienced orthopaedic surgeons predict who will benefit from surgery when patients present with degenerative meniscal tears? A survey of 194 orthopaedic surgeons who made 3880 predictions
Non-surgical management is appropriate as first-line therapy in middle-aged patients with symptomatic non-obstructive meniscal tears.
https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2019/08/12/bjsports-2019-100567

Sports Biomech. 2019 Jul 31:1-16. doi: 10.1080/14763141.2019.1624812. [Epub ahead of print]
Running biomechanics before and after Pose® method gait retraining in distance runners.
Wei RX1, Au IPH1, Lau FOY1, Zhang JH1, Chan ZYS1, MacPhail AJC1, Mangubat AL1, Pun G1, Cheung RTH1.

Plantar Plate Gait

This girl has a (healing) plantar plate lesion on the left hand side at the head of the second met. She also has an anatomical short leg on the same side. Her second metatarsal of both feet or longer than the first

A few things I hope you notice about the video:

  • Can you see how she “reaches“ to get to the ground with her left foot?

  • Can you see how her left foot is more inverted that strikes in the right, creating a greater amount of forefoot pronation that needs to be controlled?

  • Can you see how poor her motion control is of her pronation on the left foot with the sudden “crash” at impact?

  • Have you noticed her “crossover“ gait?


Does it make sense that because of her anatomy and running style, that the constant reach, increased forefoot inversion and lack of pronation control (which causes more abduction of the forefoot at toe off); this drives the force to the second metatarsal head which is longer and more prominent and is more than likely what led to her plantar plate lesion in the first place?


Remediation?

  • A 3 mm full length sole lift for the left foot

  • Foot intrinsic strengthening exercises

  • Hip abduction strengthening exercises/drills

  • Moving her more to a “midfoot strike” running gait with toes extended to engage the windlass


Dr Ivo Waerlop, one of The Gait Guys


#plantarplate #gaitanalysis #crossovergait #leglengthdifference #thegaitguys


External tibial torsion and lower back pain

How can external tibial torsion and lower back pain possibly be related? Let’s take a quick look at the anatomy and see how.

knees neutral, note external rotation of the right foot and decreased progression angle

knees neutral, note external rotation of the right foot and decreased progression angle

Remember the external tibial torsion is present if we drop a plumbline from the tibial tuberosity and it passes between the first and second metatarsals or more medially. This increases the progression angle of the foot. This occurs due to “over rotation" of the lower extremity during development, often exceeding the 1.5 degrees per year of external rotation per year up to age 15 or occurring for a longer period of time, up to skeletal maturity. It can be uni or bilateral.

note when the foot is neutral, the knee points inward

note when the foot is neutral, the knee points inward

Often, due to the increased progression angle, people will try to "straighten their feet" (ie, decrees their progression angle) to move forward in the sagittal plane. This places the knees to the inside of the sagittal plane which causes medial knee fall and sometimes increased mid and forefoot pronation. This results in increased medial spin of the thigh bilaterally which increases the lumbar lordosis. Combine this with a sway back or anterior pelvic tilt and you have increased pressure on the lumbar facet joints. The facets are designed to carry approximately 20% of the load put in these circumstances are often called upon to carry the much more. This often results in facet imbrication and lower back pain. You can strengthen the abdomen all you like but if you do not change the attitude of the foot, a will often develop lower back pain, especially when the abs fatigue. Now think about if the deformity is unilateral; this will often cause asymmetrical rotation of the pelvis in a clockwise or counter clockwise direction.

So, what can you do you?

Since external tibial torsion is a "hard deformity", we can influence how the bone grows before skeletal maturity but after that will not change significantly with stretching or exercise.

  • You can teach them to walk with an increase in progression angle (ie “duck footed”). This will often keep the knee in the sagittal plane and can be surprisingly well tolerated

  • You can use a foot leveling orthotic or arch support to bolster the arch and change the mechanics of the foot, causing external rotation of the tibia which will often result in a decrease in progression angle in compensation while still keeping the knee in the sagittal plane

  • You could place a full length varus wedge in the shoe which, by inverting the foot, externally rotates the tibia which the person will often compensates for by decreasing there progression angle to keep the knee and the sagittal plane



Dr Ivo Waerlop, one of The Gait Guys



#tibialtorsion #lowbackpain #LBP #progressionangle





Sometimes it’s OK for “toes in“ squats

We hear from folks and also read on a lot of blogs and articles about whether your toes should be in or out for squats or other types of activities. The real answer is “it depends”.

What it depends on is the patient’s specific anatomy. That means we need to pay attention to knees and hips and things like femoral and tibial torsion‘s. It’s paramount to keep the knees in the sagittal plane, no matter what the lower extremity orientation is.

When somebody has external tibial torsion (i.e. when you drop a plumbline from there to view tuberosity it passes medial to the line between the second and third or second metatarsal) then having your feet and externally rotated position places the knees in sagittal plane. Having the patient go “toes in” with this type of anatomy will cause both knees to for medially and create patellofemoral tracking issues.

Likewise, like the patient in the video, (Yes, I know I say “external tibial torsion“ at the beginning of the video but the patient has internal tibial torsion as you will see from the remainder of the video) when somebody has internal tibial torsion (I.e. when you drop a plumbline from the tibial tuberosity it passes lateral to the second metatarsal or a line between the second and third metatarsal) you would need to point the toes inward to keep the knees in the sagittal plane as demonstrated in the video. You can also see in the video when her feet are placed “toes out“ they fall outside sagittal plane laterally which creates patellofemoral tracking issues like it was in this particular patient.

So, knees in or knees out? It depends…

Dr. Ivo Waerlop, one of The Gait Guys

#internaltibialtorsion #externaltibialtorsion #kneepain #kneesin #kneesout #squats #thegaitguys