Whether your goal is to treat painful knee osteoarthritis or to gain an edge in the hundred-yard dash in the next Olympic Games, a thorough gait analysis can provide valuable insight into how and why your body functions and moves the way it does. AposTherapy® trained physiotherapists use gait analysis to help map out patients’ walking movements in order to customise the knee treatment for optimal function and pain relief.
The computerised equipment includes sensors to record data about the way the patient steps to help physiotherapists analyse the movement patterns themselves. Understanding how the patient’s legs, pelvis and lower back joints function together helps us calibrate the AposTherapy® footworn device accordingly.
But besides helping us optimally calibrate the AposTherapy® footworn device, gait analysis data can also be enlightening for the patients themselves.
What you can learn from gait analysis results
A thorough gait analysis will look at all aspects of the way you walk including kinaesthetic awareness, mobility, stability, and muscular control. The gait analysis can reveal weaknesses and predispositions that, if fixed, can help you improve the way you move and, in turn, relieve pain.
And, while improving your gait might not make you a world-champion runner like Mo Farah, it can provide helpful insight about what to fix. And having an expert interpret and explain the results of your gait analysis can yield valuable insights.
Gait analysis can reveal unhealthy compensations
When your body has something impeding its ability to operate, whether real or perceived, it finds ways to compensate. Sometimes that can be good but often it’s not. Compensations when walking and running can occur due to past injuries as well as pathologies and uncorrected movement patterns.
A person who is constantly compensating while running or walking may be taking pressure away from some structures (tendons, muscles, joints, etc.) only to pass the burden on to other structures and muscles. If this is done over prolonged periods of time, the newly loaded structures may overwork themselves. The disequilibrium can lead to imbalance which results in inefficiency, pain and can also increase the likelihood of injury.
The good news is that reducing and eliminating those compensations can also produce the opposite effects – increasing efficiency and preventing injuries. So, by wearing a calibrated AposTherapy® device, the patient feels less pain and therefore their compensations naturally reduce.
Gait analysis may reveal neglected injuries
When you look back and try to remember the injuries you’ve had and forgotten, you may realise that there are things you meant to take care of, once upon a time, but never did. You may remember a past injury that is still there in the background that you’ve sort of gotten used to. Minor aches and pains that keep coming back are signs that there may be an injury that has been neglected. Although seemingly minor, they can intensify and cause greater pain and compensations over time.
You might have a minor limp or your muscles might be ‘bracing’ and causing undue pressure inside your joints without you even realising. Gait analysis can reveal problems in our movement patterns that are difficult to perceive with the human eye. Catching the compensations early can help you find ways to improve your movement patterns in the short term and prevent problems in the long term.
How gait analysis is used in AposTherapy®
AposTherapy® trained physiotherapists use in-depth computerised gait analysis in combination with the results of background questionnaires and expert-level observation skills to calibrate the AposTherapy® footworn device for optimum gait improvement and pain relief.
Why gait analysis is the key to treating knee pain
As opposed to shoes, or orthotics, the AposTherapy® footworn device actually changes the point of contact where the foot touches the ground. Using undersole pods that redirect that point of contact, the AposTherapy® footworn device redistributes the weight away from painful and injured areas of the joints in the legs, pelvis and spine. This can in many cases immediately relieve significant amounts of pain. The computerised gait analysis helps our AposTherapy® trained physiotherapists to understand where best to place the undersole pods and which intra-pod inserts to use.
Bottom line - how gait analysis can help relieve pain
Using professional gait analysis can provide valuable information about walking patterns and often reveals unhealthy compensations and neglected injuries. The physiotherapist uses their in-depth visual and computerised gait analysis to calibrate the AposTherapy® footworn device. The bottom line – patients feel less knee pain in and out of their AposTherapy® device.