Studies have shown considerable differences in the way women walk as opposed to the way men walk. This can lead to accelerated hip and knee issues as well as foot and back pain. The way our feet are structured can be directly related to the way we walk, which is, in turn, directly related to overall health.
What is Gait Analysis?
Gait is a medical term that refers to the way you walk or run. When analyzing the way you walk, an athletic trainer or doctor will examine foot structure and movement. They are looking for markers in not only the feet and ankles, but also the hips, back, and even the way your arms move with each step. The overall goal of gait analysis is to determine the steps necessary to correct issues and get you walking correctly.
Gait Analysis seeks to determine whether your gait falls into one of the following:
- Neutral. Your foot lands on the outside edge and then rolls inward. Contact between your foot and the ground is spread evenly around the arches of the foot.
- Overpronation. Your foot rolls inwards as it lands. Men are more likely to overpronate as opposed to women.
- Underpronation. The ankle doesn't roll when it hits the ground. Instead, it moves outwards and puts pressure on the ankles and metatarsals.
Who is Qualified to Analyze My Gait?
Many good shoe stores will offer gait analysis, but did you know athletic trainers and sports medicine providers can also provide this helpful analysis? The benefit of having your walk or run examined by a medical professional is that we can lend our expertise as well as diagnostic testing and advanced treatments available right in our office.
Is Gait Analysis Worth It?
We wholeheartedly believe that when pain and discomfort disrupt your life, you're not living the way you want. Gait analysis is a fantastic place to start searching for a cure for foot, ankle, hip, or back pain. We can determine which foot and ankle conditions you might be likely to suffer from using the analysis results. Additionally, a treatment plan can be formulated using this analysis in tandem with a physical exam and imaging. We can also determine the proper footwear that you should be wearing based on the way you walk and the structure of your feet. Adequate, supportive shoes can make all the difference if you're struggling with pain.
So, in essence, yes. Gait analysis is worth it. If you're looking to become more active or if you are suffering from pain with little to no relief from traditional methods, analyzing the way you walk can give us a clue on how to get you back on your feet and keep you active for a long time.
Mid-Michigan Gait Analysis
Freeland Foot and Ankle Clinic is always available to listen to your concerns and consult with you regarding a possible diagnosis and the options you have for treatment. Foot pain, back pain, and hip pain are never normal. Rather than chalking it up to age or another preexisting condition, why not see if your gait has anything to do with your discomfort? We can get you on the road to a more fulfilling, pain-free, active lifestyle. Contact us online today or give us a call at 989-695-6788 to get back on track and back on your feet.