The weaknesses and misalignments that precede our pains can occur as quietly and invisibly as the creeping damage to arteries does in heart disease, or the microscopic erosion of tooth enamel at the hands of sugar addicted bacteria.

Slow, silent, microscopic, degeneration and irritation of tissues caused by weaknesses and stubborn mis-alignments, that is pain in it’s dormant form. Eventually though of course the pain does come, first often as a ‘minor injury or a niggle that either doesn’t settle or tends to reoccur.

We love using Gait Analysis to demystify the genuine underlying reasons for our clients pain, its something we get really nerdy about and that’s no bad thing. The deeper reason for our enthusiasm however,  is that we know this kind of information can completely transform people’s quality of life.

The ability to stand and move freely in a state of comfort is absolutely essential for our health, wellbeing and for our enjoyment of life. Even for those of us who don’t reside at the sporty end of the spectrum, the freedom to move comfortably is a basic part of leading a normal healthy existence.

As important as all this is, we live in a culture full of people suffering unnecessarily with pain and limitation. Pain that could be easily avoided with extremely simple measures. We have all heard horror stories about what peoples teeth were like before dentistry came of age, going by the data we are potentially every bit as terrible at preventing joint, muscle and back pain right now!

One of the many leaps of understanding we will need to make (as a culture) in order to start doing a better job of managing and preventing pain is to quit trying to diagnose pain as if it is a ‘disease’. In more specific terms this means acknowledging that we can’t see weak hip stabilising muscles on an x ray, there is no blood test for flat feet and an MRI scan can’t tell you if your core is weak.

Virtually all muscle, joint and soft tissue pain relates to movement, therefore it is movement that must be scanned, measured and assessed.. that’s where gait analysis comes in. If the basis of pain is patterns of movement and weakness and then it is primarily movement and weakness that we must assess.

*X Ray’s scans and blood tests are of course extremely important diagnosic tools in a relatively small percentage of pain cases, we use them ourselves frequently. People are often quite surprised to learn that leading pain experts agree with us, about the fact that they are only relevant and useful to a minority of pain sufferers. 

Not so long ago, all dentistry involved was waiting until you couldn’t handle the pain any more and then pulling your tooth out. This is the exact same approach most doctors and surgeons take with arthritic hips to this very day. We are lead to believe that there is nothing that can be done to manage or prevent wear and tear in our joints other than surgical replacement.

 These days we consume more sugar than we have ever done and yet we have less tooth decay than we have ever had, and we have fewer tooth extractions than ever also. All thanks to what we know about ‘dental care’. We believe that achieving the same feat could easily be achieved with all the back pain, foot pain, plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, knee pain, ACL tears, osteoarthritis, hip pain and back pain etc. that we suffer with. 

On average we take around 3 million steps per year. When you decide to come down out of your tree and start walking upright the stakes become quite high for your feet, ankles, knees, hips and spine. A clue to this is the fact that your knees are more than twice the size of any 4 legged animal with the same body mass as you.

Getting this in depth, ‘functional’ view of what the feet are doing forms the basis of our custom orthotic prescription. We believe in correc ‘movement’ of the foot as opposed to the shape of the foot, because we believe that most pain comes from the way in which we move.