"The Mind-Clearing Magic of Running"
Gait Analysis: Walk/Move Analysis
A valuable tool against pain and injury which also contributes in effort reduction
Etymology of "gait"
Are we thinking how to walk? No, a Central Pattern Generator (CPG) for locomotion found in the spine mediates ambulation and other repetitive pattern activities.
The results have shown that the networks responsible for locomotion are distributed throughout the
lower thoracic and lumbar regions of the spinal cord.
As early as 1911, it was recognized, by the experiments of Thomas Graham Brown, that the basic
pattern of stepping can be produced by the spinal cord without the need of descending commands from the cortex.
Excerpts from a powerpoint presentation from the Department of Physical Therapy, New York University available at
An Everyday Occurrence
- You’re walking along 23rd Street, heading west toward your bus stop
- You’re thinking about what was discussed in Kinesiology class today
- You’re also thinking that there is a lot of traffic and it’s going to take you forever to get home tonight...
- Are you thinking about foot placement?
- Are you thinking about how long each step should be?
- Are you thinking about trunk and pelvic rotation in the transverse plane and maintaining reciprocal arm-swing?
- Are you thinking about...
- Probably NOT!
- Your gait control is on ‘automatic pilot’
- When do you have to think about gait control?
- When there’s a perturbation
Central Pattern Generator (CPG)
- CPG - a group of synaptic connections probably at the spinal cord level which are triggered by an event or condition
- When a threshold is met via a triggering mechanism the CPG appears to be activated and takes over automatic control of gait metrics - i.e., you don’t have to think about it
- Spinalized (cord transected) cats suspended over a treadmill will walk with an alternating, striding quadripedal gait
- Human quadriplegics have also “walked” this way
CPG and Supraspinal Influence
- Gait perturbations
- Example: Someone walks across your path from the side that you didn’t see
- There’s a need to take immediate corrective action to avoid a collision
- Supraspinal centers appear to over-ride the CPG and switch to a ‘manual control’ strategy
What Triggers a CPG?
- There seems to be a close relationship between activating a CPG for gait control and preferred rate of ambulation
- In other words, there is a rate-dependent relationship between normal gait mechanics and its control mechanism
From the Wall Street Journal
“When he slowed down the video and measured the angles of her legs during her stride, the likely source of the pain became obvious—big strides and landing on the inside half of her feet.
Straighten out the knees and shorten the stride and the pain just might go away, Mr. Silverman said.
She strengthened her gluteal muscles so she could better control her knees, shortened her stride and speeded up her cadence. She has completed two more triathlons and a trail race since the
analysis, and the 200-mile relay race from San Francisco to Calistoga, Calif.
From NHS, the UK’s National Health System
"Full body analysis helps us identify any muscular imbalances you may have that often restrict performance and make you vulnerable to injury."
We review the video of my running, looking at my body movement
at different stages of my stride, in real time and in slow motion.
Matt says: "Over time, tight quadriceps and weak hamstrings will cause your pelvis to tilt downwards, which can cause compression in your lower back.
Related content from information.book.com:
NCCIH Video Series - The Science of Mind and Body Therapies
Using “biomechanics, force platforms and high speed
cameras” to quantify movement in Yoga
A Cartography of Exercise with 1000 molecular mechanisms has been released
An Exercise Molecular Blueprint
Today's metro paper Direct matin cites a scientific study on the
molecular mechanisms of exercise.
"We’ve created an exercise blueprint that lays the foundation for future treatments, and the end goal is to mimic the effects of exercise"
“It’s long been thought that there were many signals elicited by exercise, but we were the first to create this map and we now know the complexity.”
Huffington Post article
Huffington Post article - The Advantages of Exercise
Cell Metabolism - Journal link to the Scientific Publication
Hoffman et al., Global Phosphoproteomic Analysis of Human Skeletal Muscle Reveals a Network of Exercise-Regulated Kinases and AMPK Substrates, Cell Metabolism (2015),
The Cover of the 6th October 2015 Issue of Cell Metabolism (Link)
06 October 2015 - Volume 22, Issue 4
On the cover: Leptin and Runner's High. On pp. 741–749 of this issue, Fulton and colleagues show that loss of STAT3 in mesolimbic dopamine neurons conveys a signal of leptin insufficiency
and energy deficit to increase the motivation to run. Image design by Chloé Inizan and authors. Neuron image ©Thinkstock, Sebastian Kaulitzki.
Link of Exercice and Mechanisms against Cancer