Gait Analysis

The process of walking combines complex interactions between muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and neurons in the body. Pain free motion can sometimes be taken for granted but can also be jeopardised and indeed lost as a consequence of inactivity, accident or illness. As the population ages, the loss of pain free motion is fast becoming a significant factor in the quality of life of individuals and therefore is of high medical and social importance.

 

Clinical gait analysis facilitates a fast and easily practicable method which integrates well with the daily clinical routine in:

1. Diagnostics

2. Therapy

3. Documentation

imple set up and short analysis times are key in clinical analysis and our software develops quantitative data pertaining to movement, and provides direct feedback to both therapist and patient. This gives it an important role in gait analysis.

 

 

The conventional terminology for gait analysis is based upon the phase model of Perry and defines physiological gait in 8 phases. In her work, Perry defines muscle activation, joint movement and ground reaction force as critical factors under consideration. Norm data are researched for these meaning that deviances can now be observed and as a consequence, a well-grounded approach has been formed for diagnostics and therapy in gait.

 

The ultimate goal of gait analysis is to identify a primary cause and this is done through detailed observation and critique. Subjects with gait problems often present a number of gait irregularities as a result of different body parts endeavouring to compensate for a primary fault. It is only when the cause of the problem has been identified and treated, that problematic compensatory actions can also be resolved. Compensatory movements and impairments are however often more obvious to the eye and this is why computer analysis methods have to be used, so that a more exact and decisive foundation can be obtained, upon which diagnoses can be based (Perry, 1992).

 

Systematic gait analysis includes the structuring of information, observation of a strict pre-assigned procedure, and a plan for data interpretation. In examinations, the following factors must be taken into account:

 

  • Kinematics- define the exact joint movement in space. The hip, knee, and ankle joints are often the focus of investigation in both the sagital and frontal plane.
  • Kinetics- provide information about ground reaction forces, and forces which are translated through the body and joints. Moments about joints which occur as a result of body weight can often provide vital information.
  • Dynamic electromyography (EMG)- provides information about the activation and intensity of muscle contractions.