Terrible Time Walking

by Jody Honeycutt
(Rockingham, N.C.)

My present age is 57 and I am female and slim. About 7 yrs. ago, I was beginning to learn the banjo. I sat a lot holding this 17 lb. instrument while practicing rolls. I had always been actively involved in walking, biking, rollerblading and, as a public school music teacher, my job required a lot of activity.

About this time, my mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor and I had an episode of bells palsy. My thoughts were that the stress of her brain tumor, (and she had also had a breast removed in the previous 2 years) brought on the bells palsy.

Anyway, I pretty much stopped all activity because I was involved with her doctor appointments, my job, etc. There was little time for exercise and what time I could grab, I played music. Looking back, I blamed my inability to walk with balance and a steady gait on the bells palsy, which could have been part of the problem.

But, after having read so much on the muscles of the back and spine, I am now beginning to think that tight hips have been at the root of all my problems these past years. When you go from being very active to doing nothing but sitting, I'm sure things tighten up. I had been active all my life.

My problem: I have a terrible time walking. I limp. My right hip pops. I have had sensations of numbness in my leg and foot or feet. I have very little pain associated with my problems, which is a blessing, but I feel that the pain may come if I don't get this problem fixed.

I am healthy and have had blood work done which shows that everything looks good. I have been to a Rolfer for five sessions, which helped somewhat, but did not correct the problem or give me lasting results. Now, I go to a chiropractor, who x-rayed my back.

It showed some misalignment in the region of L3, 4, and 5. The adjustments have helped but not cured my problem. I don't do much walking because it is such an effort and my leg goes numb.

After reading some of this information on your website, I see that I may have to stretch my hips on a daily basis. I want to regain my ability to move without effort. I am tired of being inactive. Any advice you give I would greatly appreciate.

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Apr 13, 2012
Balancing Flexibility and Strength
by: Stephen from Lower Back Pain Answers

Hi Jody,

When my clients report experiencing "popping" joints it tells me that there's instability in that joint. Instability is caused when the muscles spanning the joint do hold it uniformly in place.

"Popping" may occur when muscles on one side the joint are tight and short, but on the other side of the joint the muscles are loose and slack.

In addition to a regular regime of stretching throughout your entire body (not only your hips), you may have to include some strengthening as well in order to provide stability.

I hope that helps and I wish you well in your search for relief.


Stephen @ LBPA

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Stephen O'Dwyer, cnmt

Neuromuscular Therapist & Pain Relief Researcher

Stephen O'Dwyer, CNMT


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