Biomechanical gait analysis: What is it and how can it help?
A biomechanical gait analysis is critical to prevent the onset of muscle and joint injuries. These injuries can occur not only in the feet, but also in other parts of the body such as the knees, hips and back. This type of analysis is performed frequently at the High Performance Centre at La Manga Club.
La Manga Club, 13th May 2016 – A biomechanical gait analysis consists of studying the foot in both static and dynamic positions and its relationship with other parts of the body such as the knees, hips and back. This assessment of how you walk can prevent the onset of muscle and joint injuries. Podiatrist, Rogelio Diz, explains that not only professional athletes find this examination useful, but also amateurs who are starting to dedicate more time and intensity to a sport, and people who have undergone surgery or a rehabilitation process.
Phases of the biomechanical gait analysis
- Examination while lying down. The ranges of joints and muscles around the ankles, knees, hips and forefoot are valued. At this point it is also possible to check for any asymmetries (length differences) between the two legs that could influence the way in which you walk.
- Static footprint analysis. In this study, the patient is examined in a static position (standing) with bare feet to evaluate the pressure points on the foot, centres of gravity and shape of the footprint. This test is done on a pressure platform and a computer collects the extracted data. This platform also analyses the patients posture and balance.
- Dynamic footprint analysis. Using the same pressure platform, the movement of the foot can be analysed: how the foot starts the step, from heel to take off, and the pressures it is exerting along the way.
- Walking and running analysis. In this study the patient is examined wearing shoes with and without innersoles while walking and running.
Once this study is complete, the patient can be advised on the type of footwear they need or types of innersoles that will improve performance. Also, specific muscle groups can be identified that might need to be strengthen, or recommendations for personal training or physiotherapy.
The biomechanical gait analysis is also highly useful to evaluate a patient before and after treatment of various pathologies (e.g. after surgery or a rehabilitation process).
If you would like to know more about this test which can be performed by the High Performance Centre at La Manga Club, please watch this video.