Walking Backward for your Lingering Pain

One major issue I’ve come across when dealing with lower-body injuries is that people still have pain. It seems like there’s still more healing that is needed but the tissues have gone through most of the healing phase.


Why is there still pain?


In most of those cases, I’ve noticed there are compensations while walking. Normal walking is heel to big toe but after an injury, it changes. Sometimes the change is a limp, or it’s the different placement of the foot.


The most obvious way to get rid of the pain is to change the walking pattern. But it’s very hard to correct when walking forward. It becomes “hard-wired” into our bodies from avoiding pain and needs a lot of concentration to break the habit.


In some cases, pain “travels” to other parts of the body because the foot placement caused other muscles to take over for shock absorption. An example is an old ankle sprain causing hip pain from the foot landing in the wrong position.


There’s an easy trick to fool your body.


Walk backward.


Unless you spend most of the day walking backward, you’ll notice that it is easier to concentrate on foot placement.


I’ve always added backward walking in a program post-surgery since the healing time is long but I’ve recently given it to other people with injuries as a way to undo their walking habits.


You won’t need to walk backward all day long, but for a few minutes daily. Then switch back to walking forward while focusing on the heel-big toe pattern.


L.

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