Back Pain

A percentage of all back pain cases are caused by movement and alignment problems in the feet and their connections to the knee and hip joints. On average we take over 3 millions steps a year, and we do so mostly on unnaturally hard flat surfaces like paving concrete and tarmac. The jarring forces caused in our leg bones transfer directly through the pelvis into the delicate spinal tissues and can easily become a source of pain. Many of us get away with this form of stress in our lives without it turning into back pain, because we have correct alignment through our lower bodies. Those of us with alignment and movement issues in our feet, knees and hips are however susceptible to developing this kind of back pain.

Gait Analysis is an effective way of identifying whether your feet are causing your back pain. Knowing exactly what is happening when you walk in this way takes all the guess work out of creating longer term solutions to your back pain.

Hip Pain

Your hips do an incredible amount of work during your lifetime, they are the major hinges that connect your upper body to your lower body and they bear the weight off your entire upper body every time your heel strokes the ground. The hip is the most common joint in the human body to be replaced for good reason. Correct alignment through the hip during walking and running is absolutely essential for a lifetime of healthy pain free function of your hips. Gait Analysis can often reveal the underlying reasons for hip pain and even osteoarthritis to develop. Accurately identifying faulty movement patterns in the hip is an essential step if you wish to work towards consistently pain free hips in the long term.

Knee Pain

The fossil record shows that the human knee doubled in size very fast once we started walking upright, this should offer a glimpse of how much extra strain there is in a knee when you decide to walk upright. Correct and healthy function of the knee is intimately connected to movement and correct weight bearing of the feet.

If for example you have an arch that collapses when you walk this creates an awkward inward rotation of the knee with every step, an issue like this is more than enough to cause damage to the soft tissues of there knee over time. These kind of mechanical issues in the feet can even help predispose you to major knee injuries like ACL tears. Using Gait Analysis to identify weight bearing issues within the knee and foot connection is an excellent way to inform rehab decisions for knee pain sufferers.

Ankle Pain & Ankle Sprains

The ankle may be the joint that performs the biggest party trick of all weight bearing joints. The ankle bears more weight than any other major joint, and yet it has less immediate muscle support than even a small non-weightbearing joint. The secret to the ankles success is in its design, but it is a design that has its limits.

If you have alignment issues when you bear weight through your foot and ankle it weakens the soft tissues that hold the ankle together during all that work. In a percentage of us this can predispose us to ankle pain and ankle sprains. Gait Analysis is a reliable way of identifying the underlying causes of ankle pain and the resdidual weaknesses left behind by many ankle sprains.

Foot Pain, Heel Pain, Arch Pain & Plantar Fasciitis

The soft tissues in the sole of the human foot spend their lives sandwiched between the heel bone and the hard flat surfaces that make up our urban environments. Being compressed like this with every footfall (over 3 million of them each year) means that pressure needs to be evenly distributed or damage cam occur to the connective tissues.

If for example you don’t heel strike evenly pressure can build up in certain areas, this can lead to damage of collagen fibres and scar tissue build up in the heel. If your arch collapses it cam become over-stretched with time and similarly cam develop scar tissue. Gait Analysis can easily identify the cause of heel pain, arch pain and plantar fasciitis in almost every instance. Knowledge is power and great plans of management become possible when you know the root cause of your pain.

IT Band Syndrome

The most common cause of IT Band Syndrome is repetitive strain. If your arch collapses when you take a step and bear weight it causes internal rotation of the hip and thigh. This kind of internal rotation of the hip and thigh puts stress through the IT Band and over time it reacts by tightening.

You can foam roll all you want but if you don’t identify and work on the underlying cause of your IT Band issues you’ll be rolling for a long time. The alignment of the foot and the strength of the glutes usually need to be addressed in order to make real progress with IT Band issues. Performing in depth Gait Analysis to identify exactly what is happening is the first step towards tailored solutions.

Shin Splints

People who suffer with shin splints generally either haver major alignment issues or major muscle recruitment issues in the lower limbs. The kind of pain and pressure that come with shin splints doesn’t just show up out of the blue. Gait Analysis is an excellent way of digging into the possible underlying causes of shin splints with a view to putting preventative measures in place. Some might say this is a good thing to try out before you let someone cut an 6 inch hole in your shin in an attempt to reduce your pain.

Osteoarthritis

When it comes to explaining the connection between Gait Analysis and osteoarthritis in the hip and the knee we generally like to let logic and facts do the talking. More than 90% of all hip replacements are single replacements. This means that it is extremely common for 1 joint to wear out and the opposite hip joint to remain largely in tact.

In every instance of 1 hip joint wearing out (and the other not) both hips have the exact same mileage, genetics, footwear, lifestyle, hobbies, diet and environment. The only 3 remaining factors possible in generating osteoarthritis are birth defects, old injuries and movement patterns… hip injuries and birth defects are pretty rare.  Have you ever heard of someone having a sprained hip?  This leaves movement patterns being the only probable common explanation for all those millions of hips wearing out while their neighbouring hip survives. Gait Analysis diagnoses faulty movement patterns.. we believe it offers essential insight into options for supportive and rehabilitation care for people with osteoarthritis in their lower body.