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What Is A Gait Analysis
Gait analysis is the measurement of how we move when walking or running.
Are There Different ways Of Examining a Gait Motion
Yes, there are 2 common methods, both used for the same reason.
1: A Gait analysis is commonly performed on a running machine to examine how the feet impact the surface and to examine how the body functions during the cycle. The video camera and motion capture system records you while you walk. This data is then used to assess motion and any deviation fromnormal.
2: As used here at the Deansgate Osteopathic Clinic, A Footscan Gait analysis which examines the precise movement pattern of your feet as it crosses over the surface.
Unique to you for a better performance..
What Does A Gait Analysis Measure
The running machine option is visual and is down to the trained personel in making use of the data.
It looks at ankle motion as it impacts the surface, highlighting issues such as over pronation.
The FootScan is like a large set of weight scales with 8000 sensors that you walk across or run, from this we can obtain the following information:
The Centor of Force
The Center of Force
Center of pressure is the location on the supporting surface where the resultant vertical force vector would act if it could be considered to have a single point of application. By tracking the path of the instantaneous center of pressure during stance, the patient’s balance and pattern of progression can be determined.
A shift of CoP is an indirect measure of postural sway and thus a measure of a person’s ability to maintain balance.
Its kinda like walking straght line path from a to b, unfortunaelty the surface is slippy so we slide a little from the centre. We have a optimum central path but were not quite on it.
It may surprise you but the contact of our feet on the surface is often quite different, knowing this allows better assessment and rehabilitation.
If we have an injury it alters the force we can put through the feet altering our stride capacity.
This is the force being transfered through motion on impact with the foot.
This lets us know where the distribution of weight is on impact, ie more on the outside of the foot, or maybe not so on the toes. Alterned foot mechanics and disorders can have different patterns.
Why Do We Use A Gait Analysis
In Sports a Gait analysis is used to examine the biomechanics ( muscle and joint movement) to help athletes run more efficiently and to identify posture-related or movement-related problems in people with injuries, the body directly influences our walking and running Gait, and the same is reciprical in that our foot motion effects the upper body motion.
Any one who runs, professional to amatuer needs to maintain good technique, avoid training interruptions and stay injury free. A gait analysis can identify problems, allowing intervention to reduce the risk of suffering from injury, improving rehabilitation and optimising performance.
In the non athletic populous we still walk! we all do and, as a rule we don’t give it much thought, but taking away our mobility and walking changes ours life drastically, effecting our independance imapacting our physical, mental and emeotional health.
In most cases we have no idea if we walk abnormally (deviation from norm or optimum) or with a symmetrical Gait pattern. However, when you experience pain, normal gait can be altered, resulting in abnormal walking that can lead to bigger health issues.
Health issues can be varied such as:
Musculoskeletal problems, (from altering movements to compensate for pain or discomfort). Kinda like changing the way you walk up the stairs to avoid pain in the knee, unfortunately it impacts other limbs creating imbalance and compensation patterns.
Cardiovascular health issues (due to inactivity)
Mental health issues (depression, loss of independence, etc.)
A Gait analysis can help you stay mobile, if we can determine normal/abnormal gait patterns, diagnose issues causing pain, we can implement treatment and rehabilitation plans to correct, manage, to modifye our behaviour and actions to pursue a better state of health.
How Do I Get A Gait Analysis
Unfortunalety a Gait Analysis is not routinely available on the NHS, despite the value in helping patients stay mobile.
Here at the Deansgate Osteopathic Clinic was utilise the latest in technology in FootScan Gait Analysis to help implement a recovery plan for rehabilitation.
The Gait Analysis can be used to optimise performance and take the guess work out of customised orthotics for inury prevention and to help regain maximum efficiency walking and running, this great for runners, golfers, football players and anyone lifting weights.
Outside of sports enviroment if you are on your feet all day, having correctly supported feet and ankles can reduce the risk of ankle, knee, hip and back issues.
Getting a Gait Analysis has become much easier, in the past only the elite athletes had access, now with advancement in technology you can just click below.
How Detailed is A Gait Analysis
The two images demonstrate the value and precision of a Gait Analysis that is based on science, the pressure is represented in colour and shape (second figure). As you can see the weight distribution is far greater on the right foot, each with a different pattern.
The video demonstrates a full Gait cycle, showing in details how the foot moves from initial contact to toe off on propulsion, the recording is actually from a diagnosed patient with collapsed ache, a common issue where orthotics are utilised, pause it at different points, notice the different pattern and point of centre, where is the force and pressure distributed from heel impact to toe off!.
This is the information used to create custom orthotics by ‘Phits 3D laser printed’ with Materialise, the global leader in 3D printing, combine this with Footscan currently (2020) the most accurate measurement unit in the world! the manufacturing process utilising cutting edge technology, 3D Print takes away the guess work of trying to make a regular orthotic precise to your foot, it demonstrates that dynamic movement each foot requires a slightly different orthotic structure, matching this will assist in optimising performance and help reduce the risk of injury
Is The Gait Analysis Worth It?
To answer this question you need to ask what does it do for you? if you are looking for orthotics you may compare it so off the shelf orthotics so it may seem expensive! Firstly forget the comparison you can see the detail in the data and what a bespoke orthotic produced from it gives, off the shelf are guess work!
Lets consider two of the major roles of a Gait Analysis
Optimise Performance- improving you technque, reducing the risk of injury
Treatment and Rehabilitation-Less time in the treatment room back activity quicker
What Are The Benefits Of A Gait Analysis
Firstly it depends what you do with the information and the action taken with the details, producing custom orthotics, optimising treatment and rehabilitation can give:
Better Health: Physically, Mentally and Emotionally
Less Injury time
Less time in the clinic, reduced cost long term.
More time doing the things you love.
More time running and competiting.
Optimised performance helping achieve better results
Reduced interuptions to training programs
Move Better Perform Better
Helping you improve your game…
Some Conditions That Benefit From A Gait Analysis and Custom Orthotics