Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I had a video gait analysis today at Northwest Hospital's Sports Medicine Clinic -- it was fascinating! First, your knees and the achilles tendons on each heel are marked in black. Then you stand up against a grid-marked wall so that the camera can get alignment information. Then you walk barefoot on a treadmill being filmed by four cameras, each capturing a different view. Then you walk again with your shoes on.

I actually walked better barefoot than with my current orthodics. After watching closely, the pedorthist took my orthodics into his lab and made some significant adjustments to them. We could see the difference when I put them back on and walked again on the treadmill -- not perfect, but much better. Though I had wondered if my shoes were too roomy -- I have a new blister on the bunion callus -- they thought the shoes were just fine for the 60 mile walk.

But it's pretty clear from the grid and from the treadmill video that the Mighty Psoas has not yet released my spine. And up against the wall grid, I am crooked, listing to one side by 4 inches. It is called a muscular imbalance. Other nagging problems are evidently related to this more fundamental issue -- that my orthodics are actually doing me more harm than good. I do not have a good foundation for stability in the foot or the knee or the hip, so walking distances exacerbates the imbalance.

I'll get started on new orthodics -- and I'm also going back to the clinic for an evaluation of my back, vertebrate by vertebrate and probably the psoas too. From that, they will prescribe physical therapy exercises for me to get straight and align these joints better.

I feel like I've been given some new tools today to try to get past recent physical setbacks. I was just about ready to settle for having raised $11,000 for 2008, and let folks know that I would not be able to do the 3 Day Walk this year. It may still come to that, but I've got 17 weeks of runway before I have to make that decision. Even if I only walk several miles a day for the next week or so while the back is being evaluated, I will still be moving forward. And that's really the only way I like to go, torqued or not.

I am uncomfortable spending so much time focused on my problems, especially with the cyclone in Myanmar, the earthquake and mudslide(s) in Chungdu. Then today's news of Senator Ted Kennedy's malignant brain tumor.... I will surely add his name to my list of those for whom I walk.

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