8.8.21
Healthcare

How gait analysis reflects your health condition?

These days digital technology is available to everyone around the world. Its benefit of portability has captured the attention of medical researchers as well. Medical researchers have begun to invest their time in digital technology. We are now seeing the digitalization of the field of medicine. Understanding the difference in how it affects patient care has left us amazed.

The gait cycle: the basics

The easiest method to travel short distances is still considered to be walking. Walking allows mobility of joints, and the right amount of muscle force utilized improves the efficiency of walking.

The body movement during walking is such that while the body is moving forward, one of the legs is supporting the other leg while the other leg is making advanced preparation to provide its role as the support structure. It is referred to as the gait cycle. The gait cycle consists of two necessary steps; the stance and swing.

10% of the gait cycle accounts for every double stance period, whereas 40% accounts for a single stance. Both of the legs never share the pressure equally when the double stance period is being covered.

Gait analysis explained

Gait analysis is specific for all those who are involved in running, and if you are into running, then most probably you have heard about it already.

For all the newbies, it is essential to explain that gait analysis is a method that is used to identify any abnormalities in the gait cycle, whether it be biomechanical or physical. In simple words, it is a technique which analyses and assesses the method in which a person walks or runs.

Importance of gait analysis

Walking is one of the simplest acts that many of us do not pay heed to, but imagine if your ability to walk is taken away, will you be able to survive. The inability to walk will create a drastic effect on your health and will ultimately affect you in both short and long terms.

People with an abnormality in their gait cycle can have several musculoskeletal problems, cardiovascular health issues, and mental health issues It is the main reason that gait analysis is essential to maintain good health for not only runners but an average human being as well. A gait analysis helps the people to identify the issues that a person has in their gait cycle and also helps in rectifying any problems if they have any so that the person may live a healthier life.

Types of gait analysis

There are different methods with which the gait cycle can be analyzed; some of these are very simple, whereas, on the other hand, some of these involve the use of complex techniques and hence are more difficult to perform. In order to figure out which type of gait analysis is best for you, it is crucial that you gain basic knowledge of what you have to go through.

  • Observational Gait Analysis

The simplest type of gait analysis is to have your foot patterns evaluated by a running shoe specialist and then finding a perfect fit for a running shoe.

This method of gait analysis is a type of qualitative analysis that incorporates the practice of physical examination by a running shoe specialist, which then follows a visual examination of the persons’ gait cycle.

The analysis is usually done with the help of a treadmill, a camera, and a dartfish sensor software that can be easily installed on any laptop. In the initial stage of the assessment, a 20 seconds video is shot of the person running on the treadmill. This step helps to analyze any abnormalities that are present in the persons’ gait cycle.

The trained staff then analyses the method in which the person ran and the movement with which he or she struck the floor. It is based on this assessment that the runners are made to select a shoe type by the method in which they ran.

  • Kinetic Gait Analysis

An advanced method of gait analysis is the kinetic gait analysis, as this technique also includes the measurement of the force that is being applied while the person runs. Other factors, such as power, torque, and pressure, are also assessed in this method of gait analysis. The analysis of this kinetic data can highlight the issues which are not visible practically to the physician.

Kinetic gait analysis allows a better evaluation of the patients and also helps in the development of effective treatment methods and also helps in better monitoring of progress.

However, these advanced methods of gait analysis are more costly, are more lengthy, and the test takes a longer time as compared to the conventional methods.

  • DIY Wearables

Technological advancements have also lead to advancements in the areas of gait analysis. As a result of this, several DIY devices are being utilized by runners and walkers to perform their gait analysis. Examples of such devices include smartwatches, smart glasses.

One such example of a DIY device is podosmart, which is gaining popularity among its users.

Conclusion

A common misconception that many people have is that gait analysis only involves watching how people walk or run or even jog, but they fail to understand that this is something that they practice on a usual basis. There are plenty of times that we go to a shop, and the shopkeeper suggests us to buy a shoe that is comfortable or will fit us better, and we end up buying this.

Modern advancements have made this scientific-based technique quicker and more precise. Hence the benefits of mere gait analysis can never be ignored since its ignorance can lead to many irreversible mental and physical conditions that will be more costly to treat than getting a gait analysis done.

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