No need for that limp

Do you notice just how many people limp as they go about their daily business? I can’t grace the term limping as it’s far from graceful, whereas walking should be graceful – at times elegant and effortless.

So it is on a Buster walk that I catch up with a fellow dog walker, limping on the right side. I can’t help myself and enquire into the apparent problem.

The old memories persist despite there being no pain

A hip replacement had been undertaken with resounding success according to the orthopaedic team, ‘So why the limp’ I ask. ‘Well, it's only been three months since the operation’ says my new acquaintance. I explain: ‘That’s just too long and you’re losing valuable recovery time’.

The operation replaced the hip, but does nothing to re-educate the neuromuscular system; the old memories persist despite there being no pain.

Photobiomodulation is proven to be effective in relief from pain

By the end of the walk I’ve explained the benefits of photobiomodulation – the use of red light/near infra-red at the correct dose is proven to be effective for relief from pain and promotion of tissue regeneration (as anyone who has undergone surgery will appreciate). Three weeks on and some five sessions of Photobiomodulation Therapy later the limp has gone and he walks – certainly looking years younger.

No pain for three years but still she limps

Yet again I’m walking along the Thames Path when I notice a woman rolling like a ship at the mercy of the sea some 500 yards ahead of me.

When I catch up I make some observation on her obvious difficulty which she denies: ‘but I don’t have any pain’. ‘Well, how long have you limped like you do?’ I ask. ‘Oh, three years, in fact since the operation to replace both hips.’

I encouraged her in no uncertain terms to contact the surgical team to reassess her for a course of physiotherapy, if nothing else, as she lives abroad.

Don’t forget the follow-up

Thousands of pounds are spent on replacement joint surgery, with great success in that the individual’s pain has gone, but functionally the result underachieves, because there isn’t the follow-up.

Just as a potential driver buys a car but lessons aren’t provided, we all need lessons to develop our skills in movement. Especially walking: for no better reason than the greatest risk to life after the age of 65 is falling over!