Our gait is a key part of our body’s efficiency, power and balance, so if you notice any pain when running or competing in sports, or if you want to simply maximise your potential, gait analysis is definitely something you should consider.
The overall aim of a gait analysis is to assess your unique biomechanics and, if necessary, form a specific treatment programme to optimise your performance and reduce pain.
Before we move on, I would like to quickly address the common misconception that having had your gait analysed you will inevitably be pressured into buying orthopaedic insoles. I am aware that it is common practice in many clinics to push insoles onto their patients regardless of their cases, but whilst insoles can be used to treat some issues, they are, in fact, rarely needed. As current medical evidence suggests, a more active treatment approach can provide an excellent long-term fix in most cases.
So, what does the analysis involve?
Our assessment at Shawe Physio comprises of 3 stages:
Here we assess range of movement, ligament laxity, muscle strength, muscle bulk, static and dynamic balance, and observe dynamic loading of the lower limbs, pelvis and spine.
We use a force plate to measure load through the foot as you walk and run. This device is an excellent way to highlight pressures on the foot unobservable by the eye, which can raise awareness to a wide variety of foot and ankle pathologies.
3. Treadmill Video Analysis
Our slow motion capture of both walking and running is an excellent way to view the whole body in motion. On the treadmill we can video the relationships between the lower limbs, trunk and upper limbs to watch their state through the various stages of movement. We are also able to measure your stride length, cadence and vertical displacement while you run for more in-depth analysis.
What comes next?
Our bodies are incredibly complex so the array of potential issues is vast! Issues can vary from a simple lower than average foot arch to something more complex such as a subtle muscle weakness around your hip that can cause inward rotation of your leg in stance phase, causing that pain you have been having on the inside of your knee.
Our job is to translate all the data gathered into concise and easily digestible report on your problem. Once your analysis is complete, we will start you on your pathway to improvement. Some issues may require further follow-up sessions to review the outcomes and progress treatment, others may have a simple fix which you will be able to resolve independently, but rest assured we will always give you the best advice and treatment possible.
What can treatment involve?
As the initial issue can be due to a wide variety of causes, the range of potential treatments is equally broad. Treatments can be generalised into the following categories:
• Strengthening to correct muscle weakness or imbalance
• Home exercise plan of self-stretches and joint mobilisations
• Hands-on joint mobilisations and soft tissue release
• Guided adjustments of running technique
• Mental prompts for adjusting running technique
• Sports specific training advice and guidance for progression
• Optimal footwear education
How do I book an appointment?
Now that you have a little more insight into our detailed approach to gait analysis and our active approach to treatment, we look forward to seeing you at the Shawe Physio clinic in Hoddesdon soon. To request an appointment, click here or give the clinic a call on 01992 451849 to see how we can reduce your injury risk and optimise your sports performance.