Vitalis Physiotherapy is the gait analysis clinic in Brisbane to turn to for a full orthotic exam. In our clinic, gait scan analysis involves three steps:
A gait scan uses specialised computer imaging to assess how you walk. It helps us to identify biomechanical problems and to make customised orthotics to correct your foot function and so relieve pain throughout your lower body.
Set aside any stereotypes you may have about orthotics being for old people or requiring clumpy orthopaedic shoes. We make orthotics for people of all ages and for many different kinds of shoes – everything from high heels to ski boots!
During the comprehensive gait assessment, your physiotherapist will complete an examination while you are walking or standing, and while seated. This will give an overview of the alignment, movement and muscle function of the lower limbs.
Over one million data points are collected as you walk across the GaitScan pressure plate. This data provides insights into the unique timing and pressure of your gait that cannot be seen with the naked eye, and will indicate whether custom orthotics may be beneficial for you. This data also creates a dynamic cast of each foot and eliminates the need for plaster or foam casting if an orthotic is required.*
If after gait analysis your physiotherapist recommends a custom orthotic based on your diagnosis, they will send the dynamic cast of each foot to The Orthotic Group where a team of technicians will manufacture a pair of orthotics to meet your unique needs.
Gait scan analysis helps us get beyond the symptoms to the underlying cause of many lower-limb problems. If you’d like to learn more about your foot function, ask us about a gait scan orthotics today.
Gait is how you walk. You were about a year old when you learned to do this and probably don’t remember how tricky it was.
There’s a lot that goes into walking well. You’re balancing your body and coordinating a number of muscles so that you can stride forward. You should strike the ground with the heel of one foot, move forward onto the toe, then shift your weight to your other leg before its heel hits the ground and you repeat the process. You’re using your legs, knees, core muscles, arms, elbows and, of course, your feet.
Your gait is highly individual, akin to your signature or fingerprints. It may one day be another form of biometric data used to verify your identity or spot someone who is behaving suspiciously.
At Vitalis Physiotherapy, we’re interested in your gait because it tells us about your foot function.
Your foot is an incredibly complex creation that allows your body to meet the ground underneath. It’s rigid enough to propel you forward and flexible enough to adjust to a changed surface. It cushions your body and supports you when standing. Furthermore, it adjusts for either walking or running.
While it’s a wonderful piece of equipment, people can develop problems with foot function. That’s because the underlying biomechanics of your foot may mean that some bits move too much and others too little.
Your arches often provide a clue to your foot function. A normal arch supports your body weight properly, rolling in at little when loaded with your weight. A low arch means your foot probably rolls in too much when you walk or run, straining your muscles and joints. A high arch also puts extra strain on your joints and muscles and doesn’t give you the cushioning you need for high-impact activities like jumping.
Those problems with foot function may lead to many other physical problems, referring pain to your knees or hips, for example. They may also cause you to limit activities you otherwise enjoy because your feet hurt.
Lower-limb conditions relating to your foot function include:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Knee cap pain
- Tendinopathy of the hip, knee or ankle
- Lower back pain
- Overuse injuries
- Shin splints
At Vitalis Physiotherapy, we use gait analysis to help us understand how your foot functions, how this might be contributing to other physical complaints and what may help. Orthotics are one common option.
It’s nearly impossible to judge your gait with the naked eye alone. Your foot touches the ground for less than a second before you move on.
Gait assessment involves the use of a gait scan which relies on a computer to analyse your foot function or biomechanics as you walk over a platform embedded with numerous small sensors that show us how your feet handle the pressure of walking and standing. The program provides a detailed visual report that helps us determine whether poor foot function is the root cause of your symptoms. It looks a bit like a radar weather map, with areas of pressure showing up as red or yellow.
Step 1: Examination
Your Vitalis physiotherapist will examine you as you stand, walk and sit. This helps us understand how your legs and feet align and move and how your muscles are functioning.
Step 2: Computer Analysis
This is the fun part of the gait analysis procedure! You walk across the pressure plate, which collects data about your gait from over a million data points.
This gives us an incredible depth of insight into your gait timing and pressure. It also helps us see whether you’d benefit from a custom orthotic.
Step 3: Diagnosis and Casting
Your Vitalis physiotherapist will look at the results of your gait scan analysis and decide whether you’d benefit from orthotics.
Should you need an orthotic, the computer creates a dynamic cast of each foot. It’s far easier and much less messy than the old days when we used to make a plaster cast of each foot! We then send dynamic casts off to a team of skilled technicians who make the orthotics to your unique prescription.
If you’ve come to see us about knee pain, hip pain or lower back pain, you may wonder why we’re talking about your feet!
Your feet affect everything about your posture. If there’s a problem in your feet, your body will try to compensate for it. That puts extra strain on your joints, muscles and tendons. The knock-on effect of a biomechanical foot problem may be felt in other parts of your lower body such as your knees, hips or lower back.
Gait scan orthotics correct your feet and help them function as they should. They look a bit like an insole from your trainer except that they’re specially moulded to support your foot in the right places. Depending on your policy, you can usually get a health insurance rebate towards the cost of your orthotics. You’ll wear them inside your shoes to correct your foot function and protect your body from related conditions.
Your orthotics will be custom-made to your exact requirements. That’s not just your physical needs; it’s also about how you want to live.
We make different gait scan orthotics to suit different types of shoes, sports or lifestyles including:
- Orthotics for high-heeled shoes
- Orthotics for narrow dress shoes
- Orthotics for high-impact sports like tennis
- Specialist orthotics for ski boots, figure skates, ice hockey skates, soccer boots or golf shoes
- Cushioned orthotics for older people or people with rheumatoid arthritis
- Specialised orthotics for toddlers and children
- Durable, shock-absorbing orthotics for people who are on their feet all day.