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How Best To Improve Your Gait And Balance

How Best To Improve Your Gait And Balance - SelectFlex

Gait refers to the way we walk, and it is an important aspect of overall health and well-being. An abnormal gait can lead to pain, injuries, and even chronic conditions. Improving your gait can help reduce the risk of injuries, alleviate pain, and improve overall mobility and function. Here are some ways to improve your gait:

  1. Strengthening exercises: Strengthening the muscles in your legs, hips, and core can help improve your gait. Exercises such as squats, lunges, and leg press can help to strengthen the muscles in your legs, while exercises such as planks and bridges can help to strengthen your core. Stronger muscles can help to improve your posture and alignment, which can lead to a more efficient and natural gait (Verywell Health).
  2. Stretching exercises: Tight muscles can contribute to an abnormal gait. Stretching exercises can help to improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension, which can help to improve your gait. Stretches such as the hamstring stretch, calf stretch, and quad stretch can help to improve flexibility in the legs, while stretches such as the spinal twist and seated forward bend can help to improve flexibility in the back and hips.
  3. Balance training: Good balance is essential for a normal gait. Balance training exercises such as single-leg stands, heel-to-toe walk, and tai chi can help to improve your balance and stability, which can help to improve your gait (AARP).
  4. Footwear: Wearing shoes or insoles that fit well and provide good support can help to improve your gait. Shoes with a wide toe box and good arch support can help to distribute weight evenly across the foot and reduce strain on the heel and ball of the foot. Also, more importantly, using shoe inserts or orthotics can provide the appropriate level of support to the arch, which in turn will result in better balance.
  5.  Gait analysis: A gait analysis is a process of evaluating the way you walk. A physical therapist or other medical professional can use video or other technology to evaluate your gait and identify any abnormalities or areas that need improvement. They can then provide specific recommendations and exercises to help you improve your gait.
  6. Posture: Good posture can help to improve your gait. When you stand or walk, keep your shoulders back and down, your head level, and your core engaged. This can help to improve your alignment and reduce the risk of injuries (Healthline).
  7. Proprioception: Proprioception refers to the body's ability to sense its position and movement in space. Exercises that improve proprioception, such as balance boards, wobble boards, and even walking on uneven surfaces, can help to improve your gait (WebMD).
  8. Mindfulness: being aware of your posture, body alignment and muscle tension during walking can help to improve your gait. When walking, focus on your posture, keep your head up, and engage your core muscles. This can help to improve your alignment and reduce muscle tension.

It's important to note that in some cases, an abnormal gait may be caused by underlying medical conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or neurological conditions, and a medical professional should be consulted if you suspect this might be the case.

In conclusion, Improving your gait can help reduce the risk of injuries, alleviate pain, and improve overall mobility and function. There are many ways to improve your gait, including strengthening and stretching exercises, balance training, and proper footwear. Gait analysis, posture, proprioception, and mindfulness can also play a role in improving gait. It's always good to seek professional advice from a physical therapist or other medical professional to evaluate and diagnose any underlying issues that could be causing you pain.

Consider Wearing SelectFlex Adjustable Orthotics to Help Improve Your Gait and Balance. 

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Back pain can cause interruptions in your daily life. It can be excruciating for some and it's actually a very common problem people face today. According to (WebMD), it is the second most common reason why people visit the doctor. It can appear as a sharp burning pain or can manifest as a dull ache. There are many causes including the spine being out of alignment, injuries, chronic conditions, and others. The good news is that most cases are preventable. Let's explore the following tips for preventing back pain:

1) Exercise Often
If you're out of shape, chances are that your spine is out of alignment, which can cause back pain. You may think that resting is best when you have an intense painful episode, but it is actually better to get your back moving and release tension from your vertebra.
2) Improve Your Sleep Position

Use pillows to create an ergonomic position while you sleep. If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees and another under your lower back to support your spine.

3) Stop Smoking

The (National Institute of Health) reported a correlation between smoking and the occurrence of back pain. That's due to the restriction of blood vessels that block the flow of nutrients. It affects spinal discs making smokers a population at risk for back pain.

4) Practice Proper Nutrition

Osteoporosis makes your bones weak. The (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) reports that the leading cause of back pain is from spine fractures from osteoporosis. This can be prevented by ensuring you consume proper amounts of calcium and vitamin D as well as having an overall nutritious diet.

5) Use Foot Support

Your feet play an important role in the alignment of your spine. (Harvard University)  reports that dynamic arch support alleviates back pain. Orthotic Insoles such as SelectFlex Arch Control Insoles allow you to immediately feel support and allow your whole body to align as a healthy spine should. The shoe inserts provide the benefits of orthotics by giving you arch support.

6) Be Aware of Your Posture

Nowadays we're bombarded with technology and unfortunately, it doesn't benefit our spine. A key factor for preventing back pain is maintaining good posture throughout the day and, as mentioned earlier, even at night while you sleep. Your ears, shoulders, hips, and ankles should make a straight line. Observing your profile picture will tell you if you are letting your head, shoulders, and hips lean forward. This misalignment in the rest of your body causes your feet to exteriorly rotate and is the foundation of many health problems. It also works inversely, if your feet are not properly positioned it affects the rest of your body's alignment.

7) Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water has many benefits we all know about, however, joint health is another surprising advantage to staying hydrated. An article by the  (Spine Institute of North America)  notes that spinal discs rehydrate during the night with the water consumed that day.

This means that if you don't drink enough water, your vertebrates won't have the cushioning effect your spinal discs provide. Older adults have a diminished thirst reflex, making it more common for them to be dehydrated. This adds to the back issues that come with age.

8) Pay Attention To Pain
Pain is a signal that indicates to you the need for correcting a problem. It is easy to take medication and erase the pain, but that is not advisable. Instead, search for the root reason of what is causing the pain and correct it. By ignoring the pain, you put yourself at risk for an even bigger problem. Catch the pain early to avoid major back pain.

PaStart With Your Feet
Healthy spinal alignment is reflected in the condition of your feet. SelectFlex Arch Control Insoles provide the customizeable arch support that you can only get from orthotics. Step into the prevention of back pain and other ailments by giving your feet the support they need. Visit our website (www.SelecFlex.com) or call (844) 570-1862 to learn more about how you can give your body support, stability, alignment, cushioning, and mobility with orthotic insoles.