How Doing a Gait Analysis Can Help Relieve Your Foot Pain
Are you finding you’re less mobile than normal because of painful feet? Perhaps you’re struggling to walk distances that used to be easy. Gait analysis can help identify the source of the problem and get you back on your feet – quite literally – in no time.
What is Gait Analysis?
To the untrained eye, there is often no difference between the way two people walk. But if you look closely, you’ll find that there can be quite a bit of variation from one person to the next.
Podiatrists know that the way you move your feet and legs can predispose you to injuries during some of your favorite activities. How you use your feet can also contribute to back pain and other common health issues. This is where gait analysis comes in.
A Diagnostic Tool
Gait analysis is a diagnostic tool we use to assess how you walk. Analyzing your gait cycle is not about judging whether you walk right or wrong. It’s about noticing subtle differences that may lead to problems.
By noticing those problems early, we can often help prevent foot and leg injuries. Once injuries have happened, gait analysis is a critical part of planning and preparing for foot surgeries.
How Can Gait Analysis Help My Foot Pain?
There are many different causes of foot pain, including:
- Deformities of the feet, such as bunions and hammertoes.
- Overly flexible or extremely rigid tendons and arches leading to overpronation or underpronation.
- Differences in leg length.
- Limited range of joint motion in the ankles, knees, or hips. This can be due to old injuries, arthritis, previous surgeries, or even a lack of conditioning.
- Weak foot, ankle, and leg muscles.
Gait analysis allows our podiatrists to narrow down a specific diagnosis for you. By looking at the biomechanics of your legs and feet, we fully understand how your feet work. Based on that knowledge we can determine exactly what has caused your discomfort.
Knowing that we can then develop a treatment plan that is customized to your body and your specific requirements. Like a custom-made pair of shoes, your treatment is tailored to your feet. Gait analysis helps us achieve that.
How Does Gait Analysis Work?
During your appointment, you will receive a full physical exam, but we also pay attention to how you walk. We want to see how your feet and ankles move and behave.
Why? Because a lot of the most common gait problems come from the movement of your arches, ankles, and feet. We also like looking at older pairs of shoes. Patterns of wear and tear add more information to what we can see and create a fuller picture of your gait.
In many cases, all it takes is a well-made pair of orthotics to help you walk pain-free and enjoy a full range of mobility. Think of orthotics as glasses for your feet. With the help of the right pair, you will be out and about again in no time!
Does Your Gait Cause You Pain?
To find out more about how gait analysis can help get rid of your foot pain and get you back on your feet, contact our team at Waco Foot & Ankle today. We’d love to hear from you. Call our office in Woodway today at (254) 776-6995, or get in touch with us using our online contact form.