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Monkey See, Monkey Do, Or Not?

family health

Do you ever wonder why families walk so similarly from brother and sister to father/mother? Do you ever wonder why your grandma had the same hip pain your mom now complains about and you are starting to feel something similar? Is it hereditary?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. No, it’s not hereditary. It’s not some crazy thing that all of you have the same leg length.

What it is…is a pattern you observed subconsciously when you were a child. Research is now showing how much of our poor mechanics in sitting, standing, posture, bending/lifting, and walking are nurture based and not nature. What I’m trying to say is that this behavior was conditioned because you watched your parents do it for so long and you thought it was a successful pattern. You then adopted it because it seemed to be a “good” pattern.

I know we all wanted to grow up to be like our parents. But, in this case, it’s a real problem. As children, we seemed to have adopted these particular patterns when our parents were healthy. We emulated these patterns so they became ours. We could think of this as a type of learned behavior. Believe it or not, at one time your grandmother walked like your mom and even you! It was until her poor mechanics wore her hip-joint or knee-joint out. I hope you see where I am leading with this. It is a VICIOUS cycle!

There are thousands of orthopedic issues that can arise from poor walking patterns. Some of the big ones include bunions, knee tracking problems, lower back, neck pain, and knee and hip-joint pain. One of my former professors, Dr. Lee Marinko at Boston University, conducted research on poor walking patterns and found a correlation to that and TMJ or jaw pain. The uneven stresses to your joints and poor shock absorbance will make certain body parts work harder than others. This of course will eventually lead to breakdowns. Poor walking will indeed mess you up from toe to head!

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