Gait Assessment

Supporting the body

The structure and function of the foot supports your entire weight and affects the movement of all of the joints in your “kinetic chain” – i.e. the feet, knees, hips, pelvis and spine.

Faulty foot mechanics will eventually contribute to a variety of conditions in these joint structures. Common symptoms include:

Foot arch pain
Bunions or hammer toes
Heel pain
Shin splints
Grinding / pain in the knee
Hip pain
Low back pain
And even, neck pain

These symptoms are often worse with long term standing or walking which can result in over use, stress and strain to the ligaments, tendons and muscles that support the weight bearing joints. This ultimately causes pain.

Why the feet?

Your feet have a direct impact on the rest of the weight bearing joints. Like the foundation of a building, your feet support the weight of your body. This is amplified by 4 times when you are running! When small problems develop in your feet, a subtle change in the way you walk will cause a chain reaction of mal-adjustment in your other joints, adversely impacting your posture and walking mechanics, and creating abnormal stress in these joints, leading to even worse problems.

 (c) Richard Purcell

Pronation

To understand orthotics, it helps to understand a bit about how the foot works. Pronation is the technical term for the collapse of the inside arch of the foot. It is a normal and important event in the walking pattern, enabling the foot to work as a shock absorber for the body.

However, over-pronation (excessive rotation) can cause problems such as flat feet, plantar fasciitis (arch pain), bunions, knee, hip or back pain. As the foot over-pronates excessive twisting pressure is exerted onto the knees, hips, pelvis and spine creating joint dysfunction, and ultimately pain.



What are Orthotics?

Orthotics are insoles that fit into your shoe to control your foot motion and prevent the stresses placed on all of the weight bearing joints that result from over-pronation. It is important to note that, not all orthotics are created equal. Yes, you can get 'off the shelf' orthotics. However, these are actually just simple “arch supports” and NOT true biomechanical control devices. The Spinal Health Clinic recommends GaitScan and custom orthotics because there is a need to get this precisely right to meet your individual biomechanical requirements.
 (c) Richard Purcell


Why Orthotics?

Custom foot orthotics help rebalance your feet, thereby reducing the stress on the joints and muscles and reducing pain and discomfort by enhancing and optimizing the bodies natural movements. Working with the orthotic laboratory, your practitioner prescribes orthotics uniquely designed to meet your needs to balance biomechanical faults inherent in your joints. These devices augment and enhance the clinical care you receive, and hasten the healing process with long lasting results so you can return to your regular activities.

Will they fit into all of my shoes?

In a word – yes. Orthotics can be designed to fit into almost any shoe type. They can be transferred from shoe to shoe, or you can purchase a pair for each pair of shoes. This is often necessary when specialist orthotics are required for specific sports or occupational activities. There is even a range of sandals that can have your orthotic prescription built into the sandal footbed! Your practitioner would be pleased to discuss this in detail with you, so that you get back to work or back in the “game” faster and better.

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