A gait evaluation is an assessment method commonly used by clinicians to study the way in which their patients run or walk. The goal of it is to assess if the gait is resulting in any conditions that they could be having and also to help plan any interventions which might be necessary to change the gait to help with those concerns. It’s only a matter of watching a person walk, however highly complicated devices and mathematical assessment can be carried out. At one end of the spectrum could simply be a visual assessment of the method in which someone walks, however the problem with this is that quite a few functions of the walking cycle take place so quickly for your eyes to view adequately. The a variety of applications available today for smartphones to video the way that a person is walking or running and then slow the frames per second down on replay to do a much more thorough analysis. Along at the other end of the range is the complicated 3D assessment that is done with many trackers connected to the body and the use of multiple cameras which a computer next converts into a 3D replay of the walking.

There are more methods of evaluating the gait including using techniques that estimate muscle activity or pressures beneath the foot. These alternative methods can also be used with the above systems to provide an extensive summary of the gait of an individual. What system is used and just how deep the assessment is completed can be dependent on the type of the clinical problem which the client has and how complicated it is and how intricate that the treatment is required to be. Research facilities also use several methods for research plus they frequently make use of equipment at the more complicated end of the choices.

One of the important issues could be the distinction between a 2 dimensional (2D) and a 3 dimensional (3D) assessment. A 2D gait analysis is less expensive, but a 3D evaluation gives you more details. A 2D evaluation basically typically looks at motion in one plane or path and it is analogous to looking at a photo. It is typically done with just one video camera. A 3D analysis looks at movement in all directions, therefore makes use of numerous cameras and relies on significant processing assets to blend all the data from the multiple cameras.

Another fundamental decision is the use of a treadmill. A treadmill means that the patient will be evaluated in one location at the same steady velocity on several times. An overground assessment causes it to be more difficult to manage for the pace, particularly on following occasions. Another problem is that there are actually several variations involving the gait on a treadmill compared to a gait overground, so it will not be an accurate representation of how someone runs or walks.

Many of the issues around gait analysis, in particular the use of 2D and 3D in clinic was discussed with an expert, Chris Bishop in an episode of the podiatry livestream, PodChatLive. In the episode the two hosts talked with him in regards to the solutions that health professionals have to use in their daily clinical work.

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Craig Payne Author
University lecturer, runner, cynic, researcher, skeptic, forum admin, woo basher, clinician, rabble-rouser, blogger, dad.