The gait cycle: the basics
The easiest method to travel short distances is still considered to be walking. Walking allows mobility of joints, and the right amount of muscle force utilized improves the efficiency of walking.
The body movement during walking is such that while the body is moving forward, one of the legs is supporting the other leg while the other leg is making advanced preparation to provide its role as the support structure. It is referred to as the gait cycle. The gait cycle consists of two necessary steps; the stance and swing
10% of the gait cycle accounts for every double stance period, whereas 40% accounts for a single stance. Both of the legs never share the pressure equally when the double stance period is being covered.
Gait analysis explained
Gait analysis is specific for all those who are involved in running, and if you are into running, then most probably you have heard about it already.
For all the newbies, it is essential to explain that gait analysis is a method that is used to identify any abnormalities in the gait cycle, whether it be biomechanical or physical. In simple words, it is a technique which analyses and assesses the method in which a person walks or runs.
Importance of gait analysis
Walking is one of the simplest acts that many of us do not pay heed to, but imagine if your ability to walk is taken away, will you be able to survive. The inability to walk will create a drastic effect on your health and will ultimately affect you in both short and long terms.
People with an abnormality in their gait cycle can have several musculoskeletal problems, cardiovascular health issues, and mental health issues It is the main reason that gait analysis is essential to maintain good health for not only runners but an average human being as well. A gait analysis helps the people to identify the issues that a person has in their gait cycle and also helps in rectifying any problems if they have any so that the person may live a healthier life.
Types of gait analysis
There are different methods with which the gait cycle can be analyzed; some of these are very simple, whereas, on the other hand, some of these involve the use of complex techniques and hence are more difficult to perform. In order to figure out which type of gait analysis is best for you, it is crucial that you gain basic knowledge of what you have to go through.
- Observational Gait Analysis
The simplest type of gait analysis is to have your foot patterns evaluated by a running shoe specialist and then finding a perfect fit for a running shoe.
This method of gait analysis is a type of qualitative analysis that incorporates the practice of physical examination by a running shoe specialist, which then follows a visual examination of the persons’ gait cycle.
The analysis is usually done with the help of a treadmill, a camera, and a dartfish sensor software that can be easily installed on any laptop. In the initial stage of the assessment, a 20 seconds video is shot of the person running on the treadmill. This step helps to analyze any abnormalities that are present in the persons’ gait cycle.
The trained staff then analyses the method in which the person ran and the movement with which he or she struck the floor. It is based on this assessment that the runners are made to select a shoe type by the method in which they ran.
- Kinetic Gait Analysis
An advanced method of gait analysis is the kinetic gait analysis, as this technique also includes the measurement of the force that is being applied while the person runs. Other factors, such as power, torque, and pressure, are also assessed in this method of gait analysis. The analysis of this kinetic data can highlight the issues which are not visible practically to the physician.
Kinetic gait analysis allows a better evaluation of the patients and also helps in the development of effective treatment methods and also helps in better monitoring of progress.
However, these advanced methods of gait analysis are more costly, are more lengthy, and the test takes a longer time as compared to the conventional methods.
- DIY Wearables
Technological advancements have also lead to advancements in the areas of gait analysis. As a result of this, several DIY devices are being utilized by runners and walkers to perform their gait analysis. Examples of such devices include smartwatches, smart glasses.
One such example of a DIY device is podosmart, which is gaining popularity among its users.
PODOSmart, a unique gait analysis
Podosmart is a technological advancement in gait analysis. The device uses algorithms that involve artificial intelligence. These algorithms allow the paramedical personnel to analyze the gait analysis of the person accurately, and they perform a diagnosis based on these biomechanical data from 13 points. Podosmart also has been registered as a medical device.
Podosmart also can detect any disorder that a person might have in their mobility; for example, if a person limps or has abnormal angles, the device will be able to detect all of this in less than 30 seconds. It is quicker than any of the other conventional methods currently being used by many.
How does it work?
The podosmart device work in three simple steps; simple steps that provide complex data in less than a minute.
- The insoles are placed in the patients’ shoes. The patients are then asked to walk in those shoes both indoors and outdoors.
- After the patient is done the walking, the data is directly sent from the connected insoles to the web interface of the physician with the help of the Bluetooth signals.
- The final step of the gait analysis is the analysis of the activity and its corrections — the physician analyses the data, and a condition is diagnosed if there is any. The physician also makes a comparison of the way the patient has walked indoor and outdoor. Counsels the patient about the analysis, corrects to fix the gait cycle.
The data that Podosmart provides you
When the developers of podosmart claim that they provide you a thorough gait analysis, they do not fail to meet the expectations. The device provides a detailed review of how a person walks by providing data on the following points.
- Speed (walking, propulsion and average)
- Digital Gaitline
- Dynamic pronation/supination
- Time (stance, stance phases, swing, double support, stride)
- Stride length and asymmetry
Many physicians have endorsed Podosmart, and the second and a more advanced version of podosmart is also making its way to the markets.
The second version of the podosmart will provide one of a kind digital gait line, something that is not being done by any other device in the world. The new version will also involve an improved interface between the physician and the patient, which will help the practitioner to share the results of the gait analysis productively.
A common misconception that many people have is that gait analysis only involves watching how people walk or run or even jog, but they fail to understand that this is something that they practice on a usual basis. There are plenty of times that we go to a shop, and the shopkeeper suggests us to buy a shoe that is comfortable or will fit us better, and we end up buying this.
Modern advancements have made this scientific-based technique quicker and more precise. Hence the benefits of mere gait analysis can never be ignored since its ignorance can lead to many irreversible mental and physical conditions that will be more costly to treat than getting a gait analysis done.