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Why is Gait Analysis Important?

What’s gait analysis? It’s likely that if you’re a runner, this is something you’ve heard around. If you’re running in your favorite pair of running shoes, you might not have considered thinking about whether or not they’re the best ones. However, if the shoes you’re wearing are made to run in a manner that isn’t suited to your gait, you could not be only unconsciously slowing down your pace while placing yourself at risk of injuries.

Gait analysis is frequently talked about when purchasing shoes for running, in order to ensure you’re buying the right shoe for your running style. A shoe that’s designed for this particular movement will ensure joint protection more effectively, and also improve your performance.

Walking is a pastime that most people don’t think about much. It’s our primary method of transport, however the inability to walk or move could drastically alter the way a person lives. It could affect our independence and cause health issues in the short and long-term.

Many people move around in asymmetric or abnormal gait patterns over time without any indications. When someone is suffering from any kind of injury, or pain their normal gait patterns may be altered and result in a different walking style which can cause more health problems.

For instance:

Musculoskeletal issues (from shifting actions to alleviate discomfort or pain)
Heart health concerns (due to lack of activity)
Mental health problems (depression, loss of independence, etc.)

This is the reason gait analysis is so important. When we look at the way that a person runs or walks, we can pinpoint individuals’ distinct movements, as well as determine their the normal gait patterns, identify problems that cause discomfort, and then apply and evaluate treatment options to fix the issues.

Gait analysis is mostly visual, observing a person while they walk. It is an essential component of an assessment, however, it is not able to provide objective information like:

Center of Force (CoF)
Step Time
Swing Time
Stride length
Weight distribution

This information is crucial for the diagnosis and treatment of gait problems, but it’s not possible to obtain it by using visual analysis. This is where gait analysis tools come in. Our mats, walkways, as well as in-shoe sensors add objective that is repeatable and actionable information to aid in the evaluation process.

To find out more about gait analysis, get in touch with us.