Much like you can tell a lot about a person by the contents of their bag, the analysis of an
individuals gait pattern will often help to identify many previously unravel-able mysteries about a persons; movement patterns, their biomechanics, their muscle activation, and their overall muscular balance. I use Gait analysis for many reasons, including injury prevention and movement optimisation, but mainly as an assessment tool when trying to identify root cause of an injury that flares up during a normal gait cycle or with runners.
How do you analyse gait?
There are many fancy ways of analysing someones gait, with lazers, force plates and treadmills, but you can get a very clear picture out of the clinical setting. All you need is a recording device and a runway for you to proudly parade yourself up and down. What I do is ask my patients to film themselves performing the following activities:
1. Walking towards and away from the camera x5
2. Walking (sideways) by the camera 5x left and right
3. Single leg balance x30sec each side
4. Single leg balance with trunk rotation left and right
5. Marching on the spot x30 seconds
6. High knees on the spot x30 seconds
I will then slow the recordings down to ¼ or ⅛ of the speed and will look through the body from head to toe assessing everything from head position, right the way down to how the toes and arches react to single-leg balancing.
Why should you have your gait looked at?
There are many reasons why someone may choose to have their gait analysed and it is
important to know that this is not just something that high-end sports people and elite athletes have done. This is something that benefits the everyday person like myself and many of you reading this as we all walk, we all move and limitations in our life (.. Mainly work) mean that we don't have the hours to put in the required work to ensure our bodies are functioning at 100% all the time.
The benefits of having your gait analysed are:
1. Identify muscle imbalances linked to pain and causes for compensatory muscle action
2. Identify abnormalities in biomechanics and movement patterns, comparing the left and
right side of the body in a dynamic movement can identify joint restrictions as well as
differences in muscle activation
3. Use the above information to prescribe the best exercises to correct abnormalities,
balance muscle strength and to prevent future injury.
There is lots of jargon usually thrown around with gait analysis, which can be a little
overwhelming… over pronation... Neutral foot... Supination... Eversion Excursion… etc.
Whilst all of these terms correlate to different potential causes, each individual has a different ‘normal’ to everyone else and the explanation of these terms should always be included in you analysis and report.
Who is gait analysis good for?
If you are suffering or have suffered with any lower body injury concerning the foot, ankle, knee and hip, especially ones that are worsened on impact (i.e walking, jumping or running activities) then gait analysis could be the missing link to identifying the cause of the issue.
This includes but is not exclusive to:
1. Plantar fasciitis
2. Achilles Tendonitis
3. Runner’s Knee or ITBand syndrome
4. Patella Tendinitis
5. Gluteal tendinitis or bursitis
‘…OK! Sounds great, Ben! What do I do now?’
First thing you need to do is contact me, let's have a chat about the questions running through your mind. You can then take the videos, send them to me, I will analyse then and give you your personalised findings and recommendations report with your specific exercises.
I’m looking forward to seeing them already! Call me.