Do You Walk Like A Duck? - Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND

Do You Walk Like A Duck?

June 22, 2014

Usually I don’t see another soul on my 30-minute, 6am walk. But today a man passed me and I watched his gait. He walked with his feet pointing outward and I cringed a little.

When we walk, our toes should be pointing forward. When they are pointing in any other direction, that puts a strain on the ankles, knees and hips. It’s a mechanical fact that with every step, each of the joints I mentioned is rubbed the wrong way. Over time this can lead to arthritis, inflammation, pain and even the dreaded hip replacement.

On your annual medical exam, your doctor will not even notice your gait. And if you do have ankle, knee or hip pain, you will usually be given a script for a pain medication. If you go to a chiropractor, they might adjust your joints but few take the time to really analyze your gait and tell you how to walk like a human and not like a duck.

I have no idea why you walk like a duck but here is what’s happening with most people.

Your lower back muscles are tight and allow your hips to become externally rotated. It’s the position that ballet dancers assume to do their plies/squats.

So, what can you do about duck walking? Yes, you guessed it. First, saturate yourself with magnesium to loosen your muscles. I recommend ReMag to use orally and to put in a spray bottle and spray on your lower back.

If you try to make yourself walk with your toes pointing forward, without magnesium, in a day or two your knees, hips, lower back and even your ankles may be painful from the new position. The same thing happens if you are given stretching or strengthening exercises or see a physical therapist for more specific exercises. That’s because you are not treating the underlying muscle tension and spasm with magnesium first.

Even just using magnesium will allow your hips to move better. But the therapeutic exercise that I recommend involves lying on your back with your bent knees over your couch. This passive position relaxes your back and allow your hips to settle into a neutral position. If you want to spend the money you can purchase an Egoscue Tower to do a neutral stretch on your legs and back. It’s hard to describe but you can find videos on YouTube demonstrating the tower in action.

Resting over a couch or in an Egoscue tower for a half hour or an hour a day listening to my radio show archives can get you back in balance within a few weeks. And BTW, you can listen live to my show today – Monday – on Achieve Radio at 4pm PST, 7pm EST.

In general, if you go for massage or physical therapy for any muscle or joint problem, be sure and take magnesium for the problem first. You cannot manipulate your way out of muscle spasm created by magnesium deficiency.

For more tips on Mind/Body/Spirit fitness sign up for the free Body Black Belt Summit. My interview is on Saturday July 19.

Carolyn Dean MD ND

The Doctor of the Future®

RESOURCES: Along the borders and in the links of my web site you can find my books, writings, and my call-in radio show. Email your questions to:

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