I’ve another interesting article for you this week from my guest poster

Jonathon Simmonds…..



Gait involves a smooth coordinated movement of the arms,

spine, hips, knees and ankles. When gait becomes dysfunctional

the most obvious feature is the alteration of rhythm.


The duration as well as the length of stride is reduced,

particularly when one tries to walk quickly.

This may be heard as easily as seen.


Typically, gait disruption is due to pain and compromise

of the lumbar spine, pelvis and lower extremities (legs).


Walking Cycle

There are two phases in the normal walking cycle: stance phase, when the foot is on the ground and swing phase,

when the foot is moving forward.


60% of the normal cycle is spent in stance phase (25% in double stance, with both feet on the ground) and

40% in swing phase. Each phase in turn is divided into its smaller components.

Stance Phase: 1) Heel Strike. 2) Foot Flat. 3) Midstance. 4) Push Off (Toe Off).

Swing Phase: 1) Acceleration. 2) Midswing. 3) Deceleration.


Most problems become apparent in stance phase because it bears weight and constitutes the major portion of gait, it undergoes the greater stress.

The average length of a step is approximately 15 inches. With pain, advancing age, fatigue, or pathology the length of the step decreases.


The average adult walks at a pace of about 90 to 120 steps per minute, with an average energy cost of only 100 calories per mile. Changes in this

smooth, coordinated pattern markedly reduce efficiency and greatly increase the energy cost. With an antalgic (painful) or ataxic (loss of power/sensation)

gait, the number of steps per minute rapidly decreases.


Within a very short period of time an uneasy gait will predispose and maintain further adaptive secondary compensatory lesions within a person’s musculoskeletal system.


Jonathan Simmonds ND. Bsc (hons) Ost Registered Osteopath Email:[email protected] Tel:01832 272817

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