Modern Medicine

The Science of Gait Analysis: What It Tells Us About Foot Health

by | Nov 29, 2023

Your feet, the often-underappreciated workhorses of your body, play a vital role in maintaining your overall well-being. From the moment you take your first steps as a child to your adult years, your feet bear the weight of your body, providing support and mobility. 

Maintaining good foot health is crucial, as problems with your feet can lead to discomfort and pain, and even impact your quality of life. Gait analysis is a scientific method that can shed light on your foot health and help you take proactive measures to ensure your feet are in top condition.

Understanding Gait Analysis

Gait analysis is a process of evaluating the way a person walks or runs to understand their biomechanics. Biomechanics is the study of how your body moves, and it’s an essential aspect of assessing foot health. 

Gait analysis, in turn, is a critical area of podiatry that involves observing and measuring your walking or running patterns, which can reveal valuable insights into your foot health.

How Does Gait Analysis Work?

Gait analysis typically involves the following steps:

  • Initial Assessment: The process starts with a comprehensive assessment of your medical history, foot structure, and any existing conditions or injuries. This information helps the practitioner understand your unique situation.
  • Footwear Analysis: The type of shoes you wear can significantly impact your gait. Therefore, the practitioner will evaluate your footwear to ensure it’s appropriate for your specific needs.
  • Dynamic Analysis: You will be asked to walk or run on a treadmill or walkway while being recorded. Special sensors and cameras capture data related to your movement, including the angles and forces involved.
  • Data Analysis: The recorded data is then analysed to identify any irregularities or issues in your gait. This may include issues like overpronation (rolling your feet inward) or supination (rolling your feet outward).

The Importance of Gait Analysis

Gait analysis offers several benefits when it comes to foot health. Here are a few reasons why it’s an invaluable tool:

  • Early Detection: Gait analysis can detect issues at an early stage, often before they become painful or debilitating. This early detection can prevent the development of more severe foot problems.
  • Customised Solutions: By understanding your unique gait, healthcare professionals can recommend personalised solutions, such as orthotics or footwear modifications, to correct or alleviate problems.
  • Injury Prevention: If you’re an athlete or engage in regular physical activities, gait analysis can help identify potential issues that might lead to sports injuries, allowing you to take preventive measures.
  • Improved Performance: For athletes, gait analysis can also enhance performance by optimising your movement and reducing the risk of overuse injuries.

Common Foot Problems Revealed by Gait Analysis

Gait analysis can uncover a variety of foot problems and conditions. Here are some of the most common issues it can detect:

  • Overpronation: This occurs when your foot excessively rolls inward while walking or running. It can lead to problems like flat feet and increased stress on your lower extremities.
  • Supination: The opposite of overpronation, supination is when your foot rolls outward. This can result in ankle instability and inadequate shock absorption.
  • Plantar Fasciitis: Gait analysis can reveal if you have an abnormal gait pattern that places excess strain on the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that supports the arch of your foot. This condition is a common cause of heel pain.
  • Bunions: An irregular gait can exacerbate the development of bunions, which are painful bony bumps that form at the base of the big toe.
  • Achilles Tendonitis: Gait analysis can uncover issues with how your Achilles tendon is functioning, which is crucial for walking and running. Problems with this tendon can lead to discomfort and pain in the back of the heel.

Taking Action for Foot Health

Incorporating gait analysis into your approach to foot health can make a substantial difference in your overall well-being. It provides you with valuable insights, early detection of problems, and customised solutions to address your unique needs. Whether you’re an athlete aiming to improve your performance or someone seeking relief from foot pain, gait analysis can be a game-changer.

To take the next step towards better foot health, consider consulting with Modern Medicine. Our team of experienced Ballarat podiatrists can guide you on the path to healthier feet.


Sam Balson Modern Medicine

Sam Balson


Sam Balson, Clinical Myotherapist and Director at Modern Medicine, combines his ballet background with expertise in injury rehab and pain management. His dance injuries fuel his passion for helping others achieve pain-free lives.

Sam’s multidisciplinary approach at Modern Medicine prioritises exceptional care and strong client relationships, setting new standards in healthcare.

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