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Opinions Please

Posted by Dorothy on 2/12/05 at 12:53 (168934)

To Anyone Who Knows -

What is the best profession to go to for gait analysis? What constitutes a good gait analysis? How much about one's gait can be told from examining a well-worn pair of the 'gait-ees' shoes? Does a typical gait analysis extend beyond looking at feet/ankles and consider how the entire body is working together?

Any other comments about gait analysis that come to mind will be appreciated. Thank you.

Re: Opinions Please

Ed Davis, DPM on 2/12/05 at 14:03 (168938)

I have always felt that gait analysis should best come from a multispecialty approach. Podiatrists, to the best of my knowledge, do spend the most hours training in gait analysis in school. Each specialist performing gait analysis has a tendency to do so via his/her own lens and/or set of tools, the tool set being less than complete.

A standardized protocol that combines the knowledge of podiatry, chiropractic, physcial therapy and orthopedics need be formulated and refined. I have envisioned several specialists getting together and forming a 'gait and posture analysis' center. A number of computer programs have been formulated for this purpose but the limitations of each program seems to follow the limited perspective of each set of practitioners. Here is a unique situation where the formulation of a comprehensive gait and posture analysis tool that calls in a number of different specialists, may act as a 'building block' to bring the specialties together.

Re: Opinions Please

Julie on 2/12/05 at 14:10 (168940)


I can tell you what my podiatrist did. After a thorough examination of my feet and legs which involved putting me through various stretches and tests, he marked vertical black lines from my calves through my achilles tendons to my heels, and video'd me walking barefoot on a treadmill. (I had been asked to bring shorts to the consultation so that he could see the whole of my legs). We then watched the video together, and we could both see (it was clear enough for there to be no need to have it pointed out to me) how I over-pronate with both feet, most markedly on the right (which was the foot in which I'd developed PF).

This identified the problem, which was then addressed with orthotics. Not immediately: we waited a few weeks to see if the various other conservative treatments ( taping, stretching, icing, etc) were going to resolve the problem. When they didn't, I suggested new orthotics, he casted them and had them made, and I then began to improve. Another three months and PF was a thing of the past.

I considered what he did state of the art gait analysis, and I've been astonished to read over the past four years of so many other people's experiences with podiatrists who were not nearly so thorough. I'm sure you'll get other responses: this was my experience, and it was a good one.

He also had a good look at my shoes. You can tell a good deal from a well-worn pair of shoes, but don't make the mistake of thinking that a lot of wear on the outside of the heel means that you don't pronate. That wear comes from the heel striking the ground, which is the first part of the gait cycle. Everyone's shoes are worn on the outside of the heel.

Re: Opinions Please

Julie on 2/12/05 at 15:39 (168941)


Good luck!

This is not meant facetiously! You describe what is certainly the ideal, and I would say you've got your work cut out for you.