What is gait?
Gait simply refers to the way a person walks. An abnormal gait can be caused by one or more parts of the body (such as hips or knees) underperforming, which can lead to imbalances elsewhere in the body when moving.
What is a gait analysis?
Gait analysis is a scientific analysis used by podiatrists to study how the body moves – or its biomechanics and effects on the feet, knees, hips, lower back and limbs. During gait analysis your body’s movements are observed, measured and recorded via digital video and assessed. Then a diagnosis can be made, and treatment plans can be prescribed for conditions which may affect your ability to walk, or are causing recurring pain.
What can it tell about your body?
Gait analysis can tell you a lot about your body and how you move. For example, if you are suffering from hip pain, this could be related to the way you walk. You might be in-toeing (feet turning inwards) or out-toeing (feet turning outwards), and the compensation your muscles are making to keep you upright may be the cause of your pain. Or perhaps your knees turn in, which can affect the quality of your movement – at First in Feet we don’t just study the feet in a gait analysis.
It is important to note that compensations in the body can lead to imbalances around the joints and the main muscles – such as hamstrings, glutes, quads, and calves. This means those areas may become less active and end up contributing less than they should. A gait analysis will reveal such issues.