An Overview of Gait Analysis
The term “gait” refers to the way that the human body moves from one point to another, such as walking or running. Gait analysis is a study of how an individual performs that movement. It is used to detect abnormalities that can cause pain/injury or to fit a person for shoes (and/or) arch supports that will be most conducive to their gait style. For many people gait abnormalities can lead to pain and disability that can prevent them from performing normal daily activities and sporting participation.
A gait analysis is typically performed by a professional. Professionals use various technologies to perform gait analysis. They will usually perform a physical examination and also observe your gait while walking/running on a treadmill or outdoors. Video analysis will often be used to slow down your gait cycle to further analyse for possible faults and inefficiencies. From there, the professional can begin to formulate a solution for any pain, discomfort or inefficiency that you may be having in your feet / knees / hips / back. This solution could take the form of a customised exercise programme, arch supports/orthotics, braces, specific types of running shoe, orthotics or a combination of these approaches.
Some basic gait information:
- The curve that you see on the middle of your foot is known as the arch/medial arch.
- If you see about half of an arch on your footprint, then you have a pretty normal gait. This shape allows your foot to collapse inward and absorb shock as it was intended to do.
- However, if your footprint appears to be filled in, and you can’t see an arch, this means that you have flat feet. Without a proper arch, your foot will collapse inward excessively, creating stress on your body.
- If your footprint does not show any arch – just your heel and the ball of your foot — then you may have a high arch.
- If you have a high arch, then the arch of your foot does not collapse as much as it should. It doesn’t properly absorb shock, and this can create stress.At Tyrrell Physiotherapy, Swords, Gait Analysis & Running Analysis are offered by our chartered specialist Gerard Tyrrell MISCP
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