People tend to forget about the peroneal muscles. This is what it looks like when the brain forgets.

This client came to see us for obvious reasons but the case details are not what we are focusing on today. Gait gets pretty messed up when a critical component or phase is lost or forgotten.  

In last weeks teleseminar on we discussed several gait cases. In these cases 5 things kept coming up when it came to looking at (specifically) neurologic gait compensations:

  1. slowing of gait
  2. wider based gait
  3. increased ancillary movements 
  4. utilizing support when needed or available
  5. shorted step length and stride length

In this video, it is clear that this person has some serious neurologic problems engaging the peroneal muscles and controlling ankle and foot function and as a consequence you see evidence of some of the itemized issues above, namely, calculated movements, nearly zero arm swing and step length from left to right is abbreviated. 

It can go both ways. The neurologic problem can affect one’s gait, but one’s resultant gait can then affect cortical function, driving an endless loop. Recently, five studies presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Vancouver Canada provided striking evidence that when a person’s walk gets slower or becomes more variable or less controlled, his cognitive function is also suffering.(2)  

A person’s gait and their neurologic function cannot be separated. The stuff just run’s too deep.  This is why we love gait so much, because to fully understanding someone’s clinical problems we must understand how and why they move.  There are clues in everyone’s gait that can help you clinically. The question is, will you notice them ? Do you know what normal gait is to begin with ? Will you understand what you are seeing and realize it is a compensation? Will you fix what you see or look deeper to find the cause of what you see ? 

Shawn and Ivo,

The Gait Guys

Gait Posture. 2013 Jul;38(3):549-51. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2013.02.008. Epub 2013 Mar 11.

Altered gait termination strategies following a concussion.

Buckley TA1, Munkasy BATapia-Lovler TGWikstrom EA.