Walking is something we do every day; it is the most basic method of human transportation, and yet the average person hardly pays it much thought. However, if gait (the way in which someone walks) is properly analyzed, it can reveal so much about a person’s health and well-being. In this article, you will learn exactly what a gait assessment is, the advantages of getting one done, and how it relates to your chiropractic treatment.
What is a Gait Assessment?
A gait assessment is a thorough examination of your stride, or the way you walk. The purpose of a gait assessment is to provide valuable insight into how your body is aligned so that we can identify and diagnose the root causes of your pain or discomfort. In addition, many gait abnormalities are related to specific medical conditions. For example, someone with Parkinson’s disease may take small, shuffling steps or move slower than expected for their age. Therefore, it is important to consider the many factors that affect gait, such as injury, cognition, surgery, muscle weakness, balance, and more, to get a complete picture of possible causes of pain and/or medical conditions.
How to Analyze Gait
While gait assessments can range in complexity from a simple observation to a highly sophisticated computerized analysis, they all start with a visual evaluation. Here are some of the most important components of the gait cycle we pay attention to during your assessment:
There are many moving parts in between seemingly insignificant motions, but with careful observation, your gait can reveal problems in feet, ankles, knees, hips, and spinal alignment. Quality analysis means looking at the entire chain (foot, ankle, knee, and hip) to put the puzzle together. Through these observations, we identify unique movements in your gait cycle, determine your normal gait patterns, diagnose problems, and implement treatments to counter abnormalities.
Advantages of Gait Assessment
A comprehensive gait assessment is advantageous for a wide variety of circumstances. Whether you are an athlete looking to optimize your performance or an expecting mother experiencing discomfort, the information collected in the analysis will take you one step closer to a healthier, happier you.
Through gait assessment, we are able to make more precise conclusions about any underlying conditions you may suffer from, which greatly affects your care regimen. By having a greater understanding of your gait abnormalities, we can implement more personalized treatments, such as custom orthotics or specific strengthening exercises. Heightened insights into the way you walk allow us to better address your pain points and restore a healthy gait. Being able to walk without pain or discomfort builds a strong foundation for optimal mobility and independence.
Schedule Your Gait Assessment with Petrak Chiropractic Today
When it comes to chiropractic care, a gait assessment gives us many clues to the root source of your pain and allows us to build a more holistic treatment plan for you. At Petrak Family Chiropractic, we understand that each patient is different and we take great pride in creating a unique treatment plan tailored to the needs and goals of each individual. To get started on your journey towards a healthier gait, schedule your consultation today!