A lot of people have the notion that gait analysis is only about observing how you walk or run, and then evaluating your feet as well as the shoes that you are wearing. If you have ever been into a local running shoe store, then you have probably tried jogging on a treadmill while an associate watches the way you jog. This is done so they can suggest a good pair of shoes specifically designed for you. This pair of shoes will be more neutral, more cushioned and more stable for your feet. This is what many people have grown to understand a gait analysis to be. However, the truth of the matter is that it is and should be a lot more than this.
Understanding Gait Analysis
Looking at your body, your feet are a very small piece of the puzzle of biomechanical functions. What will happen to your feet is part of a whole body pattern of integrated movement. Running, just like many of the other activities of the entire body, is actually a unique form of movement.
Whenever an athlete is being analysed dynamically, statically, while running on a treadmill for a gait analysis, it will serve to offer a map of personal movement. This map will then show all of the programmings for what is happening within the body. This includes everything from habit to the levels of stability, mobility, functional strength, and flexibility. The culmination of analysis on all of these elements together is what brings forth a complete picture of the gait of an individual. In a nutshell, the gait analysis is much more of a true movement analysis as a whole.
A good gait analysis will be able to show you exactly how your body is moving. Each activity that you have, even when you are standing still, will represent its own unique movement pattern. This pattern stems from your lifestyle, your habits and also your level of strength and mobility. Whether you are running outside, performing a swim stroke or pedalling a bike, you are performing a movement that is unique to you, including any compensation.
Compensations and Their Impact on Gait
The compensations that you have can lead to an imbalance around your joints.
Prime moving elements can become much less active and contribute to the manner in which you move. The smaller muscles for stabilising are going to be forced to compensate and do the work for the more powerful, larger movers. Unfortunately, the stabilisers are going to be taxed on a daily basis and they can end up shredded over time. The wear and tear on all of these smaller muscle movers can greatly compromise your recovery from injury and your ability to consistently train.
When you work with a professional for a gait analysis, you will be able to learn all about your very own way of moving. This is all about looking at the way that your entire body moves as a single unit, going above and beyond any untrained eye watching you while jogging in a pair of sneakers at your local footwear store.