gait analysis

What is Gait Analysis?

The feet and ankles consist of a complex network of structures that work together to facilitate movement, bear weight, and provide support and stability. Mechanical dysfunction in this network is often an underlying problem causing heel or arch pain, bunions, hammertoes, Achilles tendinopathy, and more.

Studying how a person walks and runs can provide critical information to help diagnose and treat mechanical dysfunction in the feet and ankles. This type of study is called a gait analysis. Having a comprehensive gait analysis may reveal:

  • Overpronation in the foot
  • Underpronation in the foot
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nerve dysfunction
  • Bone deformities
  • Issues in the back, hips, or knees.

What Happens During a Gait Analysis?

Your podiatrist will observe you as you stand, walk and run, paying particular attention to how your feet, lower back, hips, legs, back, muscles, flexibility, and overall posture are impacted.

State-of-the-art technology will be used to capture your movement in a variety of assessments which may include:

Video Gait Analysis: A sophisticated camera system will record your movement to allow for more in-depth analysis using slow motion playback and freeze frames.

Foot Step Analysis: This test measures walking patterns, speed, length of stride, etc., as you walk on a mat embedded with sensitive pressure switches.

Pressure and Force Measurements: A special treadmill built to measure force pressure is used to detect subtle abnormalities in the way you move under various conditions.

3D Motion Analysis: Angles of joints and movements are tracked and measured using infrared light that reflects off of markers placed on the lower extremities.

Muscle Function Measurements. Electrodes (sensors) are placed on skin which emit signals that measure muscle and nerve functionality while walking.

A gait analysis will help your podiatrist pinpoint the reason for your pain or limited mobility and allow them to devise a targeted treatment plan. Treatment methods will vary depending on their findings, and may include custom orthotics, physical therapy, balance work, changes in footwear, and more.

Contact your podiatrist today to arrange for a comprehensive gait analysis. It’s time to discover the reason for your pain or decreased mobility, and how best to treat it.

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