September 20, 2019

Gait Analysis: What It Is and How It Can Help You

Jamie Fullerton
,
Head Physiotherapist
If you are a running lover you have more than likely heard the term 'gait analysis' and whilst many of you are familiar with this term, some aren't fully sure what it means. But fear not, our latest blog post will clear up any confusion!

First of all, let’s go right back back to basics…

The Definition of Gait

A person's gait describes the way they walk. An abnormal gait may have a range of potential causes. Abnormal gait or gait abnormality occurs when the body systems which control the way a person walks, do not function in the usual way.

The Gait Cycle

A bipedal gait cycle is the sequence of events we fulfil when taking stride (gait cycle is just a fancier term for stride).

The analysis of your gait

Almost all gait analysis methods involve the use of a treadmill which you will have to walk or run on. Whilst you are on the treadmill, your physiotherapist analyses how you move. The exam consists of a detailed musculoskeletal exam, measuring joint ranges of motion and muscle strength. This builds up a detailed picture of where your imbalances are.

What a gait analysis appointment entails…

First we marker you up. 6 clusters are used, made of reflective material which sends specific co-ordinates from your legs to the cameras. This is what tracks your movements. Markers are placed on both your knee and ankle joints and afterwards we take a ‘static’ scan: a motionless still shot of your body on the treadmill. This builds your 3D skeleton in the gait analysis system (at Treatment Table, we use the Run3D system, learn more about this here) and we can now test your gait through both walking and different running speeds.

3 different types of foot strike

And finally…

The report produces 3 different sections: a simpler traffic light system for you and a dot system and graph chart for the clinician. Lastly, we will talk you through the results and based on our findings, use this information to build your rehab programme. During this time we ask more questions and offer very specific instructions which will improve your running style.

We hope that you found this blog useful. We are proud to be the only Northern clinic in the UK to offer our unique gait analysis system, Run3D and have seen some really amazing results! If you would like to learn more about how we can help you to perfect your stride and ultimately get the most out of your performance, send us a quick message and we’ll take care of the rest.

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