Posted on: 11 May 2015Share
The aspect of walking is very much second nature to human beings, and people everywhere walk from place to place every single day without ever taking much notice of the nature of their stride. However, the way you walk doesn't just reveal whether you're relaxed or in a hurry, it actually reveals interesting and important information about your general health.
You or someone you know might have noticed that your walk has changed in recent weeks or months. Regardless of your age, it is vital to take note of even the slightest alteration in gait. Listed here are three specific walking habits that can indicate that something in the body might not be quite right.
If you find yourself clumsily stomping from room to room, it may indicate that you have a significant vitamin B deficiency in your diet, or may be suffering from something more serious like diabetes. The uncontrolled sugar levels in your body caused by diabetes create a lack of coordination between brain and body, which can result in the foot having to stomp down on the ground to determine where the ground is, and send the signal up to the brain (known as the sensory or stomp gait).
A lack of vitamin B in your diet works in a similar way; as without this nutritional element the nerves that control movement in your body become severely damaged. If you begin to find yourself thumping your feet to the ground as you walk, it is definitely in your best interests to consult a physician.
According to a study conducted in 2014, people who begin to gradually change their walking patterns by taking slightly smaller steps, adopting a gentle sway, and generally slowing down may be displaying early symptoms of the degenerative brain disease known as Parkinson's.
Researchers based their findings on a group of 120 people suffering from Parkinson's and found their gradual change in walking habits to be relative to the same patterns of cognitive decline associated with this mental illness. Parkinson's is a progressive disease, meaning that symptoms emerge slowly and get worse over time. But it appears that a gradually slowing walk acts as one of the very first signs.
Your stride is very much down to the health of your hips, as the muscles and joints around this area provide the force to allow you to swing your legs forward as you walk. As a result, people who begin to develop a shorter stride may in fact be suffering from osteoarthritis—a condition that concerns the degradation of the joints.
They key symptoms of osteoarthritis are a stiffness and pain in the affected area, and if you find yourself beginning to take shorter strides, it could be the first indication that this disease is beginning to set in as the hip joints tighten up. Osteoarthritis can be treated and managed with right medical help, so if you or anyone you know begins to develop a shorter stride in their walk, it's important to contact local resources like Dapto Podiatry Clinic.