Hi, I’m Dr. Molly with Your Goals Physical Therapy. I had somebody stop me the other day and asked me what’s kind of a funny question. But it was very serious for her. She asked me why she walked like a duck and she demonstrated. She walked with her feet turned out. I obviously kind of chuckled because it's a funny way of asking why I walk a certain way. And she was kind of trying to brush it off too. Like, yeah, my kids are kind of messing with me a little bit about how my feet are always turned out. Then she said, I'm secretly a little afraid that they think I look funny or that I look odd when I'm walking. After talking to her for a little bit, there was a little bit more to that.
If you feel like you walk differently than other people. Now you start wondering 1. “Do you look funny?” I mean, that's obvious, But 2. “Is there something wrong?” Like, is there some reason, sinister reason why I'm walking differently than everybody else? Is there something that I don't know about that is causing this and what does that mean going forward? Or 3. “Is this all in my head?” And if I went to the doctor's office are they just going to laugh at me and say, “you're fine and there's nothing wrong with you.” That kind of an argument in your head can just make you mad.
Obviously then you just don't know what to do until you randomly find somebody who might be able to answer that question for you, which is what she did. So I was able to kind of dissuade her. I was like, look, the only people that are going to make fun of you for how you walk are your kids, kids are great. But there are reasons that people walk with their feet out a little bit, maybe farther than what would be considered normal. Those things are typically one of two things.
So again, our bodies are amazingly good and accommodating for us. If you are having problems or you're noticing that this is getting worse and worse, then obviously you should probably address that because if you're walking with your feet out, it's putting stress on your knee. I mean, depending on how far out your feet turn. You know, little bit is one thing that if you're very turned out and you're walking this way, you can see how that's causing the inside of my knee to bend in kind of an awkward place.
If you're not having any pain, now you could be causing something that you're gonna have issues in the future. But most people don't notice how they are walking until they're already having some knee problems or some other things are kind of popping up and telling them, maybe something's not exactly right.
And you would be correct again, just walking this way if it doesn't hurt. I mean that's one thing, but you are putting strain on different joints. Your knee is supposed to bend in this way. It's not trying to, it's not supposed to bend kind of this sideways.
So what would you do to fix it? That would be the next obvious question. General strengthening could definitely help somebody. You could just join a gym and do a general strength program and you might see amazing results.
The question would be how long would that take? And during that time, would you aggravate something because of course, why would your body move in a new way? If you go to the gym to exercise and you naturally turn out, then why would you not be turned out while you're doing other activities? Your body is going to go with the easiest path for it.
Having specialized exercises with somebody who's going to help you figure out which way you're supposed to move. What normal is supposed to feel like. Helps you, one prevents any further injuries and to get to your results so much faster than if you tried to just go to a gym and try to figure it out on their own. It's not easy to change how you move. You just move how you move, because that's what your body tells you is supposed to be normal. Trying to fix that requires somebody or something, giving you feedback that tells you let's try it this way. In addition to what the acceptable level of discomfort is and what it should feel like when it's normal. That is what I help people do.
We talked about her coming in and helping her with what she considered a duck walk and getting her to get her back to normal. She's doing very well. And she feels a whole lot more empowered. She doesn't have that internal monologue of “Is this really, really bad?” or “Is this nothing at all?” or “I'm making a big deal out of nothing.”All that's gone. She no longer has that stress. She feels like she's moving better. And the knee pain that she'd been ignoring, that she didn't even realize, that she’d been ignoring is completely gone. So if this is the type of care that you're looking for, feel free to reach out to me.
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WE HELP ACTIVE ADULTS OVERCOME THEIR ACHES AND PAINS TO GET THEM BACK TO THEIR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES WITHOUT MEDICATION, INJECTIONS OR SURGERIES.
Dr. Molly McDonald