This question is asking about ascending and descending stairs.
Sometimes, looking at the search terms that were used of how people ended up on my blog is a great way to give me an idea for a new post. This exact wording was put into Google(or maybe a lesser-known search engine)….”why do you go up with the good and down with the bad?” Somehow my blog came up in the results, my site was clicked on and the rest is history.
So, back to the question. Why indeed? Hey I know why!!!! Here’s why……(in case the first time around your question was not answered)…..
I’ll explain this using the example of a sprained ankle, think of an orthopedic injury that requires you to put less weight through one foot when walking or it will hurt like a m-f’er. When it comes to the weird gait patterns after a stroke, sometimes honestly this won’t apply. It did not apply to me for the first couple of years after my stroke. It didn’t work for me. Because of the tremor and ataxia in my right leg, I had to do the opposite of this gait pattern for quite some time when negotiating stairs. Going down with the bad didn’t work for me because my “bad” leg had a mind of its own for a while and I had zero control over it. I wasn’t able to direct it and tell it where to go.
Ok, back to the question. Pretend your right ankle is messed up. So the right leg is the “bad” leg. When going up stairs, the entire weight of whole body must be lifted up to the next stair. You wouldn’t want to put all that weight through your messed up ankle. So, when you go up stairs, you “lead” with your left leg, using that leg to do all of the work lifting your body, and bring your right leg up to same step to meet it. That way, when climbing a step, all the weight being lifted is on the “good” leg, you wouldn’t want all that weight put on your messed up ankle.
Going down a flight of stairs is the exact opposite. Again, you don’t want all that weight on your “bad” leg, so you would put your “bad” leg down onto the next, lower step first, which will transfer all the body weight to the left “good” leg and it can then do the job of lowering your body down without using your right leg at all.
Try it, go down a step, put your right leg first on the step below, you should feel your left side tense up a little as it prepares to perform the act of lowering the body to the next step down.