Vitalis Physiotherapy in Brisbane offers Gait Scan Assessment to identify any biomechanical issues in your lower body which involves three steps:
What is gait?
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 are 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.
Your gait and foot function
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.
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.
How does a Gait Scan work?
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.
A gait scan uses specialised computer imaging to assess how you load your feet. It helps us to identify biomechanical problems and to make custom 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. The 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.
Should you need Custom Foot Orthotics, 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.
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.
Custom Foot Orthotics help reduce pain and discomfort by enhancing your body’s natural movements. Vitalis Physiotherapy prescribes the orthotics to help alleviate and prevent pain in foot, ankle, knee and hip and improve your balance and foot function in general.
Vitalis Physiotherapy, your ‘physiotherapist near me’, serving residents in Brisbane, mainly Brisbane’s Western Suburbs – Sinnamon Park, Jindalee, Kenmore, Middle Park, Mount Omanney, Jamboree Heights, Oxley, Chapel Hill, Darra, Fig Tree Pocket, Forest Lake, Inala, Indooroopilly, Seventeen Mile Rocks, Richlands, Taringa and surrounds.