What is Gait Analysis?
Gait analysis is a commonly misused term. Most people think of being fitted for running shoes in a sports-footwear store as gait analysis, but gait analysis should be a carefully monitored, scientific evaluation of gait–in other words, an analysis of the patterns, angles, and positions of hips, knees, and feet while walking or running. While sports-footwear stores can offer a generalized recommendation, they lack the scientific equipment necessary to make a true evaluation of your body’s patterns and functions.
Do I Need My Gait Evaluated?
When a physical therapist evaluates your gait, they are evaluating much more than how a shoe fits: they’re evaluating your injury history, your present physical condition, and the steps you may need to take to properly train or condition your entire body.
Gait analysis is used to identify past or present injuries or issues, repeated habits that may lead to injury, and preventative therapies to strengthen and condition the lower half of the body. It’s an important step for anyone with a present injury, recurring injuries, or future plans to train seriously for an activity or sport. Areas of the body considered during gait analysis:
Your body is a network of interconnected muscles, tendons, and joints. Any injury or bad habit in one area of the body can lead to overuse, strain, or more serious injuries in another part of the body. Gait analysis is the first step to identifying and changing harmful patterns before they can cause serious damage.
New Heights Physical Therapy Offers Running Evaluations
We offer gait analysis in the form of running evaluations, as part of our wide range of physical therapy services. By identifying problem areas, habits, and recurring injuries, we can help you walk or run in a way that is helpful, rather than harmful, for your body. It’s always best to prevent an injury before it occurs, and our running evaluations can help to determine the best training and habit-changing methods for you.
If you’re having difficulty healing from a current injury, it’s probably time to consult a physical therapist or doctor. Repeated or prolonged injuries can produce scar tissue, making it ten times more difficult to heal the next time. By resting, treating, and evaluating the cause of an injury, you are respecting your body and preventing more damage from occurring.
The Importance of Gait Analysis in Portland OR and Vancouver WA
Seeing Patients in the following Portland and Vancouver areas: