Walking is a basic bodily function which is of high importance. Though we don’t usually give much thought to it. It is only when we start experiencing some pain or limitation in motion that we realize how hard it is to go on with our daily lives.
Gait is defined as the way a person walks. When a person’s gait changes, they may have difficulty walking, trouble with balance, and unsteadiness. Some people with abnormal gait patterns don’t experience any symptoms for years, while others find their gait to be abnormal after an injury.
If it is not addressed, then it can result in further health problems like musculoskeletal problems, cardiovascular health issues, mental health issues, etc. There are various reasons for altered gait.
Causes of temporary changes in gait:
Causes of longer-term changes in gait:
- Joint pain
- Multiple sclerosis
- Vitamin B-12 deficiency
- Spinal cord compression
Impaired walking could be due to pain in the lower back, hip, knee, foot, or ankle. Players exert more stress on your muscles. Changes in gait are likely to limit their ability to perform well in sports. Sportspersons, athletes, and those who are into running can benefit from the gait analysis. Treatment for gait includes physical therapy and medications.
Some may require rehabilitation to learn how to prevent falls and ways to compensate for the lack of balance. Gait analysis helps them identify overactive or underactive muscles if any that could result in potential injuries in the future.
Introduction to gait analysis:
Gait analysis is a method to identify the way a person walks and runs. There are various ways to conduct a gait analysis. The methodologies used have evolved and improved a lot over the years. Due to the current advancements, it is now possible to more accurately evaluate a person’s gait.
If the gait was caused by a previous injury, better diagnosis can be done and an extensive treatment plan can be designed to restore their normalcy. The initial methods used for gait analysis were only superficial evaluation as a therapist/ medical health provider visually evaluates a person’s gait or views it in a recorded video.
While these may help to identify biomechanical faults to an extent, there are limitations and the cause for the altered gait remains unknown. The simple methods used help runners in finding the right shoe for them, while the advanced methods involve extensive analysis. That helps runners to prevent injuries, and also in rehabilitation for those who were recovering from injuries.
Find the right running shoe:
Wearing wrong shoes could be impacting your performance as a runner. The simplest way of gait analysis is to have a running shoe specialist to evaluate your foot patterns, and help you choose an apt running shoe. The evaluator captures a video of the runner running on a treadmill for about 20 to 30 seconds in neutral shoes.
The video will be used to analyze your feet’s pronation. Pronation refers to the way a person’s foot rolls inwards as it hits the floor. There are three types of pronation – overpronation, underpronation / supination, or neutral pronation. Your pronation type will help to find your shoe model. The whole process takes about 30 minutes.
Extensive gait analysis for injury prevention and injury recovery:
Thorough gait analysis involves assessing several factors including:
- Center of Force
- Step time
- Swing time
- Stride length
- Weight distribution
There are clinics offering running style counseling, orthotic prescription, and injury prevention counseling. Are you a competitive runner having difficulty walking, looking to improve your performance, or treat pain that is affecting your running performance? It is in your best interest to get a gait analysis.
Today, qualified physical therapists use advanced technologies to create a customized treatment program to treat deficiencies if any. They use the real-time data collected to assess and treat a wide range of gait-related injuries irrespective of the severity of the injury.
If you want to get evaluated by a reputable sports medicine doctor NYC, then you must check out https://nydnrehab.com/sports-medicine-clinic-nyc/. NYDNRehab is one of the top clinics offering advanced and effective training programs for altered gait. Their experienced doctors and physical therapists team employ exclusive advanced technologies to prepare customized treatment plans.
Specialists at NYDNRehab recommend gait analysis for runners. They offer 3D gait analysis, diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasonography, real-time running feedback training, in order to evaluate the muscle activation patterns, and to assess the dynamic center of pressure.
How does gait analysis benefit runners?
The results of computerized gait analysis help clinicians view movement deviations that aren’t visible to the naked eye.
- Getting at the root of the problem: It helps them find the root cause of dysfunction, distinguish compensation, and offer adequate treatment to target the root cause than focusing only on the symptoms.
- Avoid sports injuries: Undergoing gait analysis is recommended for runners. It gives the physical therapists an insight into mechanical errors. They advise the athletes on ways to avoid them. This helps to prevent the incurring of potential injuries in the future. An injury is a nightmare for any runner, and gait analysis is an effective way to keep injuries at bay.
- Better performance: It also helps to identify training mistakes, running style errors, and ideal shoe fit. Runners can make changes to their running style, can see for themselves if a new style of training is beneficial than the previous one followed.
List of common problems that can be identified by gait analysis:
- Wrong choice of shoes that don’t go well with the runner’s running style or foot type
- Asymmetrical weight bearing
- Limited skill
- Compensatory adaptations
- Crossover gait
- Too fast transition to minimalistic running
- Pelvic drop
- Poor proprioception
- Poor balance
- Weak or tight muscles
- Decreased foot rocking
- Excessive foot pronation
- Inadequate supination during push-off
Get rid of pain and improve your quality of life by taking gait analysis. Don’t let pain and injuries interfere with your running performance. Correct your gait abnormalities at the earliest. Schedule your gait analysis appointment and restore your better mobility with the help of physical therapies.