Biomechanics & Gait Analysis
By studying your walking gait and the general movement of your body we're able to use advanced techniques to treat a large number of complex issues in the lower limbs.
Biomechanics & Gait Analysis: An Overview
Biomechanics and Gait Analysis are the study of the body's function and movement and it's effect on the lower limbs. Pain in the feet, ankles, knees, hips and back can all be caused by a discrepancy in the bodies movement. This assessment allows us to identify and treat a number of complex gait issues, from injury rehabilitation, to improving sporting performance.
The Gait Cycle
A complete gait cycle begins when one foot makes contact with the ground and ends when the same foot makes contact with the ground for a second time. The two main phases that occur are the ‘Stance Phase’ and the ‘Swing Phase’ and each can have isolated problems.
If an asymmetry is present between the left and right hand side of the body or feet, then this can cause a biomechanics dysfunction, which is a change in the musculoskeletal mechanics resulting in faulty movement patterns. These ‘faulty movements’ will manifest as pain or a reduction in your movement potential and mobility.
A typical example would be that of a previous injury, during which time you have avoided placing normal pressure on the affected area. The result is a pathological change to your gait, otherwise known as a ‘learned behaviour’. Subsequently this alteration in gait manifests further problems in other areas and is typically accentuated in walkers, runners and other athletes, due to the extra stresses they place on the muscle groups.
We can solve incorrect pathological gait and faulty movement patterns with the use of bespoke Orthotics placed into your footwear, to help redistribute pressure away from those joints and tissues under stress. Whatever your condition or sport we're able to provide an Orthotic that works for you.
We use various types of Orthotics depending on your needs, suitable to fit all types of footwear. Our standard prefabricated Orthotic solutions are heat moulded and adapted to the shape of your feet on the day, whereas our fully bespoke Orthotics are entirely custom made. To do that we use the data from our analysis to create a detailed prescription along with a cast of your feet, which is then sent to our laboratory to produce a pair of Orthotics tailored to your exact needs.
After a short adjustment period we will then review the performance of the Orthotics via a follow up appointment to ensure that your discomfort has reduced and performance increased. If necessary we can carry out any adjustments that may be needed.
Biomechanics & Gait Analysis: The Appointment
If you are a keen walker or runner buying your footwear from specialist running shops then you may have had a simple assessment performed in store, this is typically a video only approach to help the store assistant identify if you are pronated or supinated, in order to select a specific footwear style.
Our Biomechanics and Gait Analysis assessment involves 4 different core examinations, of which video plays only a single role. With the introduction of cutting edge foot pressure plate analysis and the OptoGait optical detection system we're able to provide biomechanical analysis to meet the needs of both enthusiasts and top level professional sports people alike.
Initial Clinical Observation
Our first stage is a critical part of the overall process, we'll determine your current complaint but importantly take a full history of any potentially related injuries, the level of activity performed and the intensity of pain you're experiencing.
A physical examination will assess your current joint range of motion and determine any abnormalities in your foot posture. A typical example would be over-pronation, whereby patients remain in this stage of the gait cycle for too long, the result being increased stress on other parts of the body.
Pressure Plate Analysis
Our state of the art pressure mat technology creates a dynamic 3D image of the maximal pressure areas in the feet when they are weight bearing, showing the centre of pressures and gait line. By simply standing and walking across the mat we can measure the static, dynamic and postural pressures and forces placed upon the feet. Using this analysis alongside our clinical observations we can detect leg length discrepancies whilst assessing the foot in motion.
OptoGait Optical Detection Analysis
The OptoGait optical detection system is the very latest breakthrough in advanced gait analysis. It is used by top athletes, Olympians and sports teams all over the World to assess their gait cycle, increase their rehabilitation times and improve sporting performance.
In a clinical environment we utilise this unique system to diagnose not only sporting concerns, but also in the treatment of a multitude of everyday pathological gait patterns. The very precise analysis this system provides allows us to detect, with an accuracy of 1 thousandth of a second, the contact and flight times of your normal gait cycle. The availability of this data enables us to treat some of the most complex of gait issues.
The OptoGait works in conjunction with our treadmill system and typically we'll ask you to walk at a normal pace whilst the OptoGait measures your gait cycle. There are a number of advanced analysis programmes available ranging from a standard walking pace to running speeds where required. It's also worth noting for those unable to use a treadmill we are still able to perform a large range of analysis using the OptoGait on the floor instead.
The core benefit of our OptoGait treatment is the ability to provide instant feedback. For example if after the initial assessment we feel that Orthotics may help to correct your problem, we can ask you to repeat the test again with these adjustments made. Immediately we're able to see the extent of the changes and can proceed with further modifications to your treatment plan where necessary. This breakthrough technology allows us to pair expert clinical observation with bespoke scientific analysis to provide unprecedented levels of treatment accuracy.
Post Assessment Video Analysis
Finally we utilise video recordings from two cameras to view your feet and lower legs from both the front and rear whilst using the treadmill. This allows us to playback in slow motion your entire gait cycle, enabling us to make precise observations about the position of your feet, lower limbs and upper body at various stages. Throughout this analysis we'll talk you through any asymmetries or abnormalities that may be occurring via our large screen patient feedback system.
A typical appointment will last around an hour, but we'd ask you to allow for up to an hour and half where necessary. Please attend in shorts or loose fitting trousers and bring your everyday footwear along with any specific sporting footwear and Orthotics should you already use them.
Biomechanics & Gait Analysis Assessment: £75
- Initial Clinical Observation
- Pressure Plate Analysis
- OptoGate Optical Detection Analysis
- Post Assessment Video Analysis
Orthotics from: £45
- Prefabricated Orthotics from £45
- Custom made prescription Orthotics from £210
Biomechanics & Gait Analysis: Book an Appointment
If you'd like to book a Biomechanics & Gait Analysis appointment with Walk Right Podiatry just get in touch. Our location on Drake Street in Rochdale means we're easily accessible from the whole of the Greater Manchester area. We can usually offer appointments within 24-48 hours and we'll always try to accommodate emergency appointments where possible.