Gait analysis and biomechanics
Your feet and ankles are complex load-bearing structures with many interconnected moving parts. Gait analysis is critical to determine underlying cause of most foot and lower extremity conditions. Many problems can be treated most effectively by addressing mechanical function. Biomechanical care may include orthotic devices, shoes, shoe modifications or changes, stretches, physical therapy, and other modalities.
Evaluating how you walk
Most foot problems occur because of improper function of the foot during gait. Analyzing how your feet and legs function when you walk can provide us crucial information when designing a proper treatment plan to help make your feet feel and function better.
Abnormal gait biomechanics can cause foot problems such as arch pain, heel pain, and bunions. Alterations in foot function can also lead to problems with your knees, hips and back.
Some items we look for when performing a gait analysis include:
- How hard do your feet hit the ground? If your feet hit the ground excessively hard the increased shock can damage tissue. If this is the case, additional cushioning under the heels or the ball of the foot may be needed.
- Are your feet functioning symmetrically? If one foot rolls in more than the other that puts abnormal strain on the pelvis and back which can lead to lower back pain among many other conditions.
- Does one leg appear to be longer than the other? Limb length discrepancies can lead to a number of lower extremity problems.
Watching you walk – gait analysis
First, we simply watch you walk. Most significant gait abnormalities can be identified with simple visual analysis. We understand how feet should function. While watching you walk we are also paying close attention to the areas of the feet that are causing you discomfort.