Being able to move powerfully, gracefully, and efficiently is important in any athletic endeavor. The better your biomechanics, the higher level of performance you can achieve—and the better you’ll be at avoiding injuries while playing or training.
Yet many things can go wrong with the gait cycle. Faulty foot mechanics, stiff joints, weak muscles, and can lead to misalignments and abnormalities in the way we walk and run. These fundamental breakdowns can lead to chronic pain and injury, even when it seems like you’re doing everything else right.
Who Needs a Gait Analysis?
We’re happy to provide a gait analysis to any athlete looking to learn more about their biomechanics and gain an edge. However, the procedure is most strongly recommended in situations where you’ve already tried traditional and alternative conservative therapies—physical therapy, dry needling, switching shoes, etc., and just haven’t found the relief you need.
If you’re doing “everything right” and nothing is getting better (or at least not for long), there may be a deeper biomechanical flaw at the root of your discomfort. A full computerized gait analysis will bring those flaws to light, and help us provide the appropriate countermeasures.
What is Included in a Gait Analysis?
The core component of a gait analysis at the Colorado Center for Podiatric Sports Medicine is a segmental foot assessment and pressure mapping. This is much more in-depth than walking on a treadmill at a shoe store and videotaping from the ankles down. The foot mechanics can affect your gait all the way up to your hips and low back.
We’ll have you walk across our pressure mat or use an in-shoe pressure system which uses ultra-thin and highly sophisticated sensors to create a detailed map of pressure and timing across all parts of your foot—and how they change over the course of the gait cycle, from the moment the heel strikes the ground all the way to toe-off.
We can get a close look at what’s going on during all three primary pivots of your gait—the heel pivot, ankle pivot, and forefoot pivot. And we can use that data to identify subtle asymmetry, misalignment, and other mechanical flaws and abnormalities that might otherwise be missed.
How is the Data from a Gait Analysis Used?
Armed with the detailed insights revealed by the gait analysis, we can develop treatments to address these subtle, underlying biomechanical flaws.
The most frequent application of gait analysis data is in the fitting of custom orthotics. These are individually crafted shoe inserts—much better than the mass-produced insoles you can find at the department store—which are designed to redistribute pressure and correct biomechanical flaws when you wear them. The right pair of athletic orthotics can significantly reduce your pain and injury risk while allowing you to train harder and improve performance.
If biomechanical flaws are minor enough that orthotics are not really needed, the gait analysis can still provide insightful information on what type or running or athletic shoes would be the best fit for your game. The data may also be useful in guiding or developing other treatment alternatives as well—building specific stretching and exercise programs, for example.
Schedule Your Podiatric Sports Medicine Appointment Today
When you choose our podiatry practice to perform your gait analysis and create a treatment plan centered on advanced therapies, you’re choosing the best in town. We know how to address your pain and get you back on the field as quickly, effectively, and painlessly as possible. To schedule a visit with our office, fill out an online contact form or call us at (720) 600-3380.