Gait analysis can simply be understood as the study of how people walk. This may sound simple and unimportant to many people, but the fact is that people’s walking behaviors are a significant determinant of musculoskeletal health. When you walk, each of your legs has to bear your entire weight with every step that you make. It is unlikely that you recognize this, but when you think critically about it, you will realize that gait could be a leading cause of most musculoskeletal problems that people experience. Therefore, the importance of gait analysis cannot be overemphasized. Below are some of the problems that visiting a reliable New York podiatrist for gait analysis can help you to prevent and even solve.
Overstriding is quite a common pattern, particularly among athletes. Unfortunately, it is known to cause injuries and even overuse. Experts agree that where the foot lands in relation to a person’s center of mass is more important than the part of the foot with which a person lands. If your feet land too far from your center of mass, your knees and feet will be forced to bear much of your weight without adequate support from the core. By going in for gait analysis, you will learn your correct stride length and your podiatrist will help you to know what you can do to make the necessary changes.
Pronation is a natural part of the gait cycle and it has to do with how the body of a person absorbs ground forces when walking or running. Unfortunately, excessive pronation causes problems such as plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and Achilles tendonitis. Gait analysis can help you to identify excessive pronation and learn about its cause. Your podiatrist will then guide you on how you can correct it.
Anterior Pelvic Tilt
This problem is usually identified with an excessive curve in a patient’s lower back. If you have difficulty keeping your lower back in an upright or neutral position when you try to do wall squats, then you may be trying to compensate for the anterior tilt. The issue may result from excessive tightness in the hip flexors leading to sacroiliac sprain, hamstring strain, and even lower back pain. Gait analysis will go a long way in helping you to identify the muscles that are short and tight in addition to figuring out where they are long and taught. This is necessary for injury prevention, especially among athletes.
The Bottom Line
Overall, it is apparent that although most people do not realize it, walking and running behaviors are integral determinants of the overall musculoskeletal health. Walking properly can help you to prevent injuries while the opposite could lead to muscle and joint pain in addition to unnecessary injuries. Therefore, it is imperative for you to go in for gait analysis so that you can learn about your poor walking behaviors and start taking the necessary steps to weed them out before it is too late. If you are looking for a reliable podiatrist offering gait analysis services in New York, The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine is an excellent facility to consider. Feel free to contact them today for more information about their practitioners and services.