Nobody Walks With Another Man's Gait

March 2017

By Frederick Cheng, R.Ph. and Christine Cheng, R. Ph.

A Kenyan proverb says that “Nobody walks with another man’s gait.” GAIT is the way in which someone walks. Each of us is born with a unique biomechanical combination of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and skeletal structure which is designed to carry us through a lifetime of walking. This gives us our unique, natural way of walking. But sometimes, we are forced to change the way we walk, whether it be due to an injury, accident, weight-gain, surgery, habit, aging or simply over-use. These events put unexpected strain on parts of our body, resulting in unusual burden on the lower parts of our legs. This typically culminates in changes in foot structure, resulting in a change in the way we walk (and stand), and, ultimately, in pains felt in various other parts of the body. 

CUSTOM ORTHOTICS are an affordable, medicine-free, and surgery-free way to correct your gait and relief the skeletal and muscle pain. It does not work for all cases, but 80-85% of us require orthotics without knowing it. I was one of these people. Altered gait can affect anyone, regardless of sex, age, or activity level. It takes a quick scan on our GAITSCAN machine at PHARMASAVE STEVESTON VILLAGE and CLOVERDALE PHARMASAVE to determine whether you are a good candidate for custom orthotics. The GAITSCAN is a highly sensitive scanning pad with 4100 sensors embedded in it to take 300 pictures of your foot per second, and is designed to measure both the way you walk and the way you stand still. It not only tells us the amount of pressure you put on each part of your foot, but also the amount of time spent on each part (down to the toes), and whether you are a supinator or a pronator, etc. 

It is amazing how much information can be gathered from the GAITSCAN readings. We can quite accurately estimate whether you have corns or bunions, hammertoes or calluses, and where your pain is in your foot, leg, hip, back, or even the type of trouble you have with walking even before you tell us any of that history. There is a plethora of orthotics to fit into a running shoe, hiking boot, high-heeled shoe, hockey skate, ski-boot, dress shoe, etc., with plenty options of plastic thickness, topcoat material, and even rebound control. We can even get custom-made authentic Birkenstocks with custom orthotics built in. At the pharmacy, we also have a separate VERISCAN 3D FOOT SCANNER if your insurance company requires a 3D FOOT SCAN for coverage. Both the GAITSCAN and VERISCAN are portable, so the scans and assessments can be done at your work, community living home, or church if needed. We even stock a collection of runners and walking shoes from trusted companies such as Saucony, Brooks, and Clark’s. Many health insurance companies offer coverage for these specialized footbeds and shoes, but you must get a prescription from your family doctor or podiatrist.

Relief can be felt as early as a few weeks into wearing your new custom orthotics and it takes around 6 months of continual wear to correct the biomechanics in your foot and the way you walk. In the end, you should be walking and exercising much more naturally, efficiently and pain-free. Each pair is designed for heavy use and certain ones can be transferred between shoes. It is recommended that you replace them every 6-12 months, or have multiple sets for different types of shoes. 

Many of us neglect our feet and the way we walk. We just never think it could be contributing to our aches and pains. Get in touch with a community pharmacist at CLOVERDALE PHARMASAVE or PHARMASAVE STEVESTON VILLAGE (www.iPharmasave.com) and see how easy it is to “stop walking in another man’s gait”. Let us help you live healthy and pain-free, from ground up.

[Christine and Fred Cheng are a passionate, charismatic sister-brother pharmacist team at their unique, family-owned and operated Pharmasaves in Cloverdale and Steveston Village, B.C. They specialize in natural remedies and compounding for both human and veterinarian use, as well as lifestyle modification, including Ideal Protein. They would love to hear from you! Check them out at www.iPharmasave.com. Everything mentioned in their article is available InStore.]



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