What is a gait analysis examination and what information does it provide?
Gait analysis is a diagnostic test which examines the feet both in a static (standing) and a dynamic phase (walking). Gait analysis provides us with a digital representation of the feet.
The gait analysis platform is a flat surface device containing pressure sensors which record and analyze a person’s gait and the way plantar pressures are distributed in two-dimensional and three-dimensional graphs.
This analysis together with the biomechanical assessment undertaken by the podiatrist is what determines the prescription of the orthotic insoles, which is then sent to the laboratory to construct.
Following the prescription and fitting of insoles, the patient should visit the podiatrist for insole review approximately every six months. However, the review period may not be the same for everyone and is depends on the needs of your problem. Your podiatrist will advise you on how often your insoles need to be reviewed.
What do the different pressures in the legs? They can be a problem?
The various forces exerted on the feet can cause incorrect anatomical alignment of the lower limb, or wrong “posture”, and as a result there can be parts of the body which may receive increased pressures.
Due to the asymmetric, non-normal loads, various problems can arise such as:
- Hyperkeratoses (callus)
- Mortons Neuroma (thickening and inflammation of the nerve)
- Metatarsal pain (metatarsalgia)
- Toe deformities (bunions, mallet/claw toes)
- Back, hip or knee pain
What can I do about these problems?
Orthotic insoles can be a solution for some biomechanical problems. The prescription of orthotic insoles is indicated for the support and offloading of the musculoskeletal system in children, adults, pregnant women and athletes of all levels.
When does someone need to undertake a gait analysis?
The necessity of the gait analysis examination is determined by your podiatrist, depending on your problem, medical history and your sporting activities.
Who can have a gait analysis and which people are prescribed orthotic insoles?
The gait analysis may undertaken for any person regardless of age, sex and sporting activity. The materials used for the manufacture of orthotics vary and depend on the patient’s presenting problem and needs. Gait analysis and insoles are provided, among other people, to people:
- Who engage in sport/are athletes and aim to improve their performance and reduce muscle injuries.
- With Diabetes / arthritic changes.
- With “heavy” and tired feet due to their occupation.
- Who suffer from plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, Achilles tendonitis, dropped metatarsal heads, inflammation, flat feet, high arches etc.
Additionally, orthotic insoles can be provided for children with:
- Pes planus (flatfoot)
- Genu valgum (knock knees)
- Genu varum (bow legs)
- In-toeing and out-toeing during walking
- Leg length discrepancy
Contact your podiatrist for an appointment to discuss your options and how orthotic insoles can help you.