08 Aug Gait Anaylsis for sports Injury
Everyone is different, the human body moves in a truly unique sequence of events. Gait analysis is a way in which we can study and quantify this sequence during such events as walking or running. Performing gait analysis on an individual allows the clinician to scientifically describe patterns of movements. Assessing how and when each joint is moving, how muscles are functioning and how these movements are controlled gives us insight into how forces are being applied to the body. How the body adapts to these forces is extremely complex and different for every individual. Sometimes the way people move can create pain, dysfunction or injury within the musculoskeletal system.
Video gait analysis can be valuable in giving a more in-depth analysis of how the body behaves. This enables us to slow down and assess key features in particular segments of movement. The interpretation of information gathered from a gait analysis is where the skill lies. Often our podiatrists assess gait in context with a tissue that is injured thus gait analysis forms part of an extensive musculoskeletal screening. A thorough medical history, injury examination and functional assessment are generally undertaken. Identifying excessive or atypical movement patterns such as a drop at the pelvis or excessive rotation at the foot allow us to comprehend the subsequent stresses and strains involved in this movement presentation. The skilled clinician understands the limitations involved with observing someone in such a controlled environment and thus makes educated assumptions on how this information can be valuable to athletes of all sporting backgrounds not just runners.
There is high quality evidence that suggest certain movement patterns are linked to certain injuries and by utilising gait analysis to understand how somebody moves we can correctly identify potential contributing factors. This enables us to design specific treatment plans to address identified factors tailored to you, as an individual, as you move like no other. Our podiatrists are not only concerned with the vital interaction with the foot and the ground but the entire kinetic chain. They are often the first people to perform gait analysis on someone, providing recommendations to our physiotherapy team and other sports medicine practitioners. This facilitates a multi-disciplinary approach and aids in the patient receiving the most effective management to reduce pain, prevent injury and optimise function.
Patients with insidious onset of pain without an acute mechanism of injury should consider if the way they move may be contributing to their symptoms. This can sometimes be the difference in people who return to activity and stay injury free or continue to be hampered by different or re-occurring injuries years to come. If you feel that you would benefit from a gait analysis then please contact our reception team at Pure.