Neuromechanics Weekly:

What does the Reticular Formation have to do with gait?

Have you ever worn flip flops? What do you need to do to keep them on? Clench (flex) your toes (specifically your flexor digitorum and flexor hallicus longus). What does that have to do with gait?

Take off your shoes (hopefully you showered); reach inside (unless there is something growing in there) and pull out the removable insole.  Look at it. See those toe marks? Looks like someone has been clenching their toes again! So what?

This video exemplifies why flexor dominance (you have heard us say it many times) inhibits extensor activity. The upper part of the reticular formation fires the extensors, but the lower part inhibits them AND the corticospinal tract (basically the motor pathway you use to fire most of your voluntary flexors) stimulates the lower reticular formation (which inhibits the extensors). Many pathologies are because of flexor activity, and his is one of the pathways that’s facilitates that pathway. The key to fixing many problems? Fire the extensors! (And stay out of flip flops)

The Gait Guys….figuring it out and explaining it to you in terms that make sense. And no, we do not own any flip flops….