Gait Analysis Specialist
Assessment of your walking pattern is called gait analysis, it only takes a small injury resulting in mild pain, stiffness or weakness to affect the way you walk or run. Poor walking or running gait is not only inefficient, it can also cause compensatory injuries at, above or below the injury level.
A normal walking pattern is even more important when you run, which increases any abnormal stress forces into your joints and muscles. Poor habits may become long-term, which can predispose you to other injuries or arthritis.
Common Walking Problems:
With injury or illness, your gait pattern can differ greatly from normal.
You may find clearing the ground difficult in swing phase.
You may dip down at the hip during stance phase, which can lead to back pain.
- If you’ve have had a stroke or neurological disorder, you may not be able to support the weight fully enough to step with the other leg, which could cause a fall and potential fracture.
You may be unable to pull up your toes (foot drop), which could lead to a trip or an inability to place your heel on the ground.
You may lean too far forward and potentially trip or stumble.
You walk with your weight too far back on your heels, which could cause you to fall backwards.
You could have poor balance, that some simple balance exercise could quickly improve to reduce your chance of a fall.
You may walk with one hand on furniture or a wall, which could lead to a fall.
Your physiotherapist is an expert in gait analysis. They can quickly assess your gait and provide treatment, exercises or tips to quickly normalise how you walk to improve your pain, movement and lifestyle.
Gait Analysis approaches:
An experienced physiotherapist will detect gait abnormalities purely via observing your walking or running style.
Video gait analysis can slow down your walking action for both assessment and correction purposes.
Force plate computer analysis can also be used.
For more advice on your gait pattern (whether it be normal walking or brisk walking or running) please consult your physiotherapist.