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Gait analysis is the process in which a qualified healthcare professional, in this case a podiatrist, examines the way in which someone functions during walking in relation to any discomfort which is experienced.
What is gait analysis?
Gait analysis is part of a podiatric biomechanical assessment looking at the structure and function body as a whole. This usually starts with a couch assessment of joint range of movements and muscle strength and length. The podiatrist will then examine the patient whilst weight bearing, and when walking, in relation to discomfort and lower limb concerns.
The foot is part of a kinetic chain, meaning its function is relied up from other parts of the body, including the knee, hip and back.
What podiatry related conditions can gait analysis help with?
There are a number of conditions that gait analysis may help in the diagnosis of, if you are unsure contact us for a free telephone consultation with a podiatrist, here are a few common conditions seen in clinic:
- Shin splints
- Plantar fasciitis
- Runners knee/knee pain
- Limb length discrepancies
- Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction
- Morton's neuroma
What does a gait analysis involve?
Firstly, the podiatrist will take a full medical and social history alongside a full account of the history of the discomfort or concern which the patient is presenting with. If a gait analysis is indicated as appropriate then the podiatrist will then carry this out. The podiatrist will assess the foot in relation to the lower limb. This involves examination of symmetry, quality and range of motion at the joints, and the strength, flexibility and length of soft tissues. The assessment will be executed with the patient lying, sitting, standing and walking/running
Following assessment, the podiatrist will determine if/what intervention indicated. This may include the prescription of orthoses/insoles, footwear and activity advice or specific stretching or strengthening exercises.
Who could benefit from a biomechanical assessment?
APeople who can benefit from a gait analysis are those who are experiencing discomfort when walking or standing which could be attributed to the way they walk.
What are the benefits gait analysis?
Gait analysis assessment can be beneficial for a number of reasons, from watching someone walking we can often determine the cause of lower limb pain and prescribe orthotics, exercises and advice as required, this can lead to;
- Reduction in pain levels
- Reduction of developing further injury
- Increased muscle strength
- Return to activity
- Greater joint range of motion
To find out more about our neurological podiatry service please contact us on email@example.com or call 0161 883 0099.
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