Gait analysis defined
Walk down the street today and ask the meaning of the phrase gait analysis. Most probably a lot of people will associate the phrase with one’s walking style. Of course, there is an inch of truth in such an assessment. However taking this discussion a notch higher, gait analysis is the study of human motion commonly applied in sports to evaluate how athletes can run more efficiently. The analysis goes further to identify movement or posture related problems so as to boosts a runner’s efficiency.
What does gait analysis focus on?
Gait analysis mainly measures the degree of pronation. Pronation is defined as the regular inward roll of the foot as the exterior part of the heel strikes the surface. In humans, this role acts as a shock absorber for the body and leg and distributes the force of the impact of the heel hitting the ground. The analysis examines two types of pronation which include
• Overpronation which occurs when the feet roll inward too much.
• Supination or under pronation where the feet don’t roll inward enough
Why gait analysis is important
Gait analysis is important for everyone who can run and not just professional athletes. The analysis aims at matching a runner’s degree of pronation with the right shoe type to reduce the probability of injuries and discomfort. The aim of the analysis is to balance over pronation or under pronation and to improve running efficiency. Further, it is important to have an analysis often because our bodies change with age and lifestyle
How it is done
The analysis can be done manually, by video or 3D mapping. Manually, a clinical specialist observes you running and pays close attention to your heel rotation and arch movement. This enables him/her to determine how your ankles, knees and feet move while in motion and draw a conclusion from it. The video analysis involves running on a treadmill while a video is made of your feet. The footage recorded is then slowed down and analysed by a professional who will then draw a conclusion from it. 3D foot mapping is an advanced video analysis that uses lasers and micro cameras to come up with a highly detailed foot image that analysis the arch height and the Achilles alignment with the leg. The results of this analysis enable runners to get the right shoe and prevent recurrent injuries.
Gait analysis could be the answer to most running injuries. Get one today and be a safer runner.