We all have experienced or viewed the alcohol impaired gait at some point in our lives, the sloppy malcoordinated limb and torso movements. There are some classic observable characteristics there that many of us are familiar with. But what about cannabis gait ?
"The research from the University of South Australia, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, found those who smoke cannabis tend to move their shoulders less and elbows more as they walk. The pilot study also found marijuana users swing their knees more quickly during walking. The differences in gait were small and found in people who smoked a light or moderate amount of cannabis. Some changes were so small it was impossible for a specialist to detect."
However, the thing we found interesting was the papers final question, as to whether the subtle gait changes over a longer period of time would increase or become more apparent.
Not insinuating that Mystic Mac is a user, but he sure does help us hit our "reduced antiphasic gait" home with a glorious demo !
*We have seen this variation in arm swing gait many times before. We have discussed numerous times that when there is a reduction in the normal shoulder and pelvic "girdle" counter rotations, the normal antiphasic gait that presents us with the clearly obvious opposite arm-leg swings, we lose the ability to tap into these oscillations that afford us this free arm and leg swing. So, when these girdle rotations are reduced, the limb movement has to come from further down into the limb, from elbow movement, a sort of casting the lower arm forward from biceps and triceps activity and from a kicking forward of the lower leg from quadriceps activity instead of hip flexion-extension activity.
We have mentioned this reduction in the normal antiphasic gait many times previously in our arm swing articles. Particularly, the reduction in the amplitude of the separation in the shoulder-pelvic girdle oscillations in those with spine pain. The more the spine is "twisted and wrung out" by these opposite swings, the more spinal motor unit compression, which can increase spine pain. Just search our blog for "arm swing" (30+ articles on the topic there). Thus the question remains , why does cannabis cause this same reduction?
Gait affects everything, and everything seems to affect our gait.