By Sean Ryan, PT
What is a gait analysis?
Gait, not to be confused with gate, is a person’s manner of walking. A gait analysis is a study of how you walk. The study can be simple or complex, short or extensive. It can be accomplished with or without the use of cameras and advanced technology. A gait analysis does not hurt, it is not invasive and there is no right or wrong. It is simply an opportunity to collect data about how you walk. In the case of an athlete, your gait might not be walking but rather running.
So, why get a gait analysis?
The study is done in order to take a closer look at how you move. At Positive Energy, we capture video of your gait, walking or running, slow it down and study it frame by frame.
Video capture during gait analysis
Looking frame by frame at video
Consider this, if your activity tracking device reports to you at the end of the day you’ve taken 10,793 steps, you’ve repeated your gait cycle 10,793 times. That, by anyone’s standard, is a lot of cycles. With each repetition, your bones, your muscles/tendons and ligaments are exposed to stress and strain. Gait experts believe that if your body is not “cycling well” parts of it are over exposed to stress and strain contributing to cumulative trauma. Isn’t that why, after all, you get the tires on your car balanced? So they absorb the forces of the ground uniformly.
Do you realize that while accumulating your 10,793 steps, someone weighing 150lbs is asking their body to absorb 1,942,740 lbs? Holy smokes!
On one hand the body is an amazing physical machine and far superior to any car, but on the other hand it has a threshold that once exceeded provokes pain.
A gait analysis is done in order to capture and if where your cycle is off. If you are interested in learning more, ask any of the +e team members!