Advanced Podiatry

Advanced Family & Sports Podiatry

Walking and Running Assessment

Podiatry
Walking Assessment

What is a Walking Assessment?

A walking assessment is a process used to evaluate an individual's walking pattern, gait mechanics, and overall movement while walking. It is commonly conducted by our podiatrists to assess a person's mobility, balance, and potential issues with their walking technique.

Advanced Family & Sports Podiatry

Walking Assessment

During a walking assessment, various aspects of the individual’s gait are observed and analysed, including:

Stride length

The distance covered during one complete cycle of walking, from heel strike to heel strike of the same foot.

Step width

The distance between the centre of each foot as it hits the ground.

Cadence

The number of steps taken per unit of time, often measured in steps per minute.

Foot placement

How the feet are positioned in relation to each other and the direction of movement.

Foot and ankle movement

Observing the way the feet and ankles move during the different phases of gait, such as heel strike, midstance, and toe-off.

Pelvic and hip movement

Assessing the movement of the pelvis and hips during walking to ensure proper alignment and coordination.

Knee and leg movement

Evaluating the motion of the knees and legs to detect any abnormalities or deviations from the normal gait pattern.

Arm swing

Analysing the movement of the arms during walking, which can provide insight into balance and coordination.

Trunk and spine alignment

Observing the posture and alignment of the upper body during walking.

Balance and stability

Identifying any issues with balance, coordination, or stability that could affect walking ability.

Based on the findings of the assessment, our podiatrists can develop targeted interventions, exercise programs, or treatments to address any identified problems and improve your walking mechanics. This can promote optimal mobility and prevent or manage various musculoskeletal conditions.

Advanced Family & Sports Podiatry

Force Plate Treadmill

Advanced Family & Sports Podiatry is the only practice outside of Perth where you can access this cutting-edge treadmill that can help diagnose your gait problems faster and track your progress more accurately. The team at our clinic utilises a German Zebris force plate treadmill, also known as a gait analysis treadmill, which can assess and analyse your individual walking and running patterns. It combines a traditional treadmill with embedded force plates that measure the ground reaction forces generated by the feet during each step. This setup allows for a comprehensive analysis of various gait parameters, providing valuable insights into your biomechanics and movement patterns. 

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How can Advanced Podiatry help?

Here′s just some of the data that we collect on your walking and running:
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Force Measurement

Force plate treadmills are equipped with multiple force sensors embedded in the treadmill surface. These force plates measure the ground reaction forces produced by each foot as it strikes the treadmill belt during the walking or running gait.

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Data Collection

When you walk or run on the force plate treadmill, the sensors collect data on the forces exerted by your feet. This data is captured in real-time and recorded for later analysis.

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Gait Analysis

The recorded data is then analysed to evaluate various aspects of your gait.

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Gait Analysis

Some key parameters assessed include:
Ground Reaction Forces

The force plates measure the vertical, anterior-posterior, and medial-lateral forces applied by each foot. These forces help determine how your weight is distributed during each phase of the gait cycle.

Timing of Gait Cycle

The treadmill captures the timing of different gait events, such as heel strike, midstance, toe-off, and swing phase. This information helps assess the overall rhythm and coordination of your gait.

Step Length and Width

By analysing the distance between successive footprints and the lateral distance between the feet, the treadmill can calculate step length and width. This information helps identify any asymmetries or abnormalities in your stride.

Center of Pressure (COP)

The COP is the point on the force plate where the vertical ground reaction force is applied. Monitoring the COP trajectory can reveal details about your balance and stability during walking or running.

Gait Symmetry

The force plate data allows for a comparison of the forces and timing between the left and right foot. Gait symmetry is essential for efficient and healthy movement.

The collected data is interpreted by our musculoskeletal podiatrists who can identify deviations from normal gait patterns, detect abnormalities, and provide valuable insights into any potential gait-related issues or injuries. This helps to accurately prescribe exercise programs, stretching routines, customised foot orthotics and assess if the footwear you are using is correct for your particular gait style.

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Advanced Family & Sports Podiatry

3d Gait Analysis

Podiatry
3D Gait Analysis System

Our 3D gait analysis system is a specialised biomechanical assessment used to analyse and evaluate the way a person walks or runs by employing sophisticated technology, such as motion-capture cameras to analyse movement in three dimensions. This type of analysis is commonly used in clinical and research settings, particularly in fields like orthopedics, sports medicine, physical therapy, and rehabilitation but it is available to you right here in Albany at Advanced Family & Sports Podiatry.

Podiatry

Identify the Underlying Causes of Gait Abnormalities

Our 3D gait analysis can help identify the underlying causes of gait abnormalities or walking/running-related issues by analysing the joint movements, forces, and timing during the gait cycle. Based on the analysis results, a tailored treatment plan can be designed to address the specific issues detected. Our 3D gait analysis can help identify the underlying causes of gait abnormalities or walking/running-related issues by analysing the joint movements, forces, and timing during the gait cycle. Based on the analysis results, a tailored treatment plan can be designed to address the specific issues detected.

Advanced Family & Sports Podiatry

3D Gait Analysis Advantages

Our system also offers further advantages in the areas of:
Sports Performance Optimisation

Athletes can benefit from 3D gait analysis to improve their performance and prevent injuries. Our podiatrists and running coach can analyse an athlete′s gait to identify areas for improvement, such as stride length, foot strike pattern, or hip rotation. This information can be used to optimise training programs and techniques, leading to enhanced performance and reduced risk of injury.

Post-surgical Evaluation and Rehabilitation

After orthopedic surgeries, such as joint replacements or ligament repairs, 3D gait analysis can help assess the effectiveness of the surgery and monitor the progress of rehabilitation. It allows clinicians to objectively measure changes in gait mechanics and determine if the patient is regaining normal function or compensating in unhealthy ways.

Preventive Measures

By analysing a person′s gait, potential risk factors for future injuries or mobility issues can be identified. Early detection of gait abnormalities or imbalances can prompt interventions that prevent or mitigate problems before they become more severe.

In summary, 3D gait analysis offers a comprehensive and objective evaluation of a person′s walking or running mechanics, enabling our practice to make more accurate diagnoses, design personalised treatment plans, optimise sports performance, and contribute to ongoing research in the field of human movement.

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Childrens walking problems and assessment

What are Children’s Walking Problems?

Children′s walking problems refer to difficulties or issues that some kids may experience while learning to walk or during their early years of walking. 

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Common Walking Problems

Here are some common walking problems:
Toe-walking

Some children might walk on their toes instead of using their whole foot. While it′s normal for toddlers to toe-walk occasionally, doing it all the time could be a concern.

Flat feet

Some kids may have flat feet, which means their arches don′t develop properly, making their feet appear flat on the ground.

In-toeing

This happens when a child′s feet turn inward while walking, making them look like they′re "pigeon-toed."

Out-toeing

In contrast, out-toeing occurs when a child′s feet point outward while walking.

Balance and coordination issues

Some children might struggle with balance or have trouble coordinating their movements, making walking challenging for them.

Gait abnormalities

This term refers to various unusual walking patterns, like limping or walking with an uneven stride.

Muscle weakness or tightness

Problems with muscles can affect how a child walks, making them more wobbly or unsteady.

Developmental delays

Sometimes, a child′s walking problems could be related to developmental delays, where they take longer to reach certain milestones.

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What can cause children's walking problems?

Children’s walking problems can have various causes, ranging from normal developmental variations to underlying medical conditions.

In some cases, children may exhibit temporary walking difficulties as they learn to walk. These variations can include: 

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Toe-walking

Many toddlers and young children occasionally walk on their toes, but persistent toe-walking can be a concern.

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In-toeing and Out-toeing

These gait variations are often caused by the way the child's bones are positioned as they grow. In most cases, these issues resolve on their own without intervention.

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Muscle Weakness or Tightness

Problems with muscle development can affect a child's ability to walk properly. Muscle imbalances or weakness in the legs and feet can lead to unusual walking patterns.

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Flat Feet

Some children have flat feet, where the arches of their feet don't develop as expected. This can affect their walking and cause discomfort.

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Orthopedic Conditions

Conditions like clubfoot, where a baby is born with one or both feet twisted, or developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH), where the hip joint doesn't form properly, can impact a child's walking.

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Neurological Conditions

Certain neurological disorders can affect a child's muscle control and coordination, leading to walking problems. Conditions like cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy fall into this category.

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Bone and Joint Issues

Structural abnormalities or bone and joint disorders can influence how a child walks. Conditions like Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease or Blount's disease can affect the legs and gait.

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Injuries

Trauma, fractures, or injuries to the legs, ankles, or feet can lead to temporary walking difficulties during the healing process.

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Developmental Delays

Children with developmental delays might experience delays in reaching motor milestones, including walking. These delays could be due to a range of factors, including genetic conditions or environmental factors.

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Poor Footwear

Ill-fitting or inappropriate footwear can contribute to walking problems by affecting foot development and gait.

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Sensory Issues

Sensory processing disorders can impact a child's ability to navigate their environment and affect their walking.

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Genetic Factors

Some walking problems can have a genetic component, where the child inherits a predisposition to a particular condition affecting their gait.

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How can Advanced Podiatry Help?

Our podiatrists specialise in diagnosing and treating conditions related to the feet and lower limbs. When it comes to children’s walking problems, our podiatrists can play a valuable role in assessing, diagnosing, and providing appropriate treatment. Here’s how we can help:

Evaluation and Diagnosis

A podiatrist will thoroughly examine your child's feet, ankles, and legs to assess their walking pattern and identify any abnormalities. They may also consider your child's medical history and any developmental factors. This evaluation helps them diagnose the specific issue causing the walking problem.

Customised Treatment Plans

Based on the diagnosis, the podiatrist will create a tailored treatment plan. This could involve various approaches, such as exercises, stretches, orthotic devices (custom-made shoe inserts), or braces. These interventions are designed to address the underlying cause of the walking problem and promote proper development.

Monitoring and Follow-Up

Children's feet and legs are still growing and developing, so regular monitoring is essential. A podiatrist will track your child's progress and make any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan as needed. This helps ensure that your child's walking problem is improving and that their feet are developing correctly.

Education and Guidance

A podiatrist can educate parents and caregivers about the child's condition, including its causes and how to manage it. They can offer guidance on proper footwear, exercises, and activities that can support your child's walking development.

Prevention

Podiatrists not only treat existing walking problems but also provide guidance on preventing future issues. They can offer advice on maintaining proper foot hygiene, choosing appropriate footwear, and promoting healthy foot habits from a young age.

Collaboration with Other Healthcare Providers

In some cases, a child's walking problem might be related to broader health or developmental issues. A podiatrist can work alongside other healthcare professionals, such as pediatricians, physical therapists, or orthopedic specialists, to ensure comprehensive care.

Remember that every child is unique, and the treatment approach will vary based on the specific walking problem. If you’re concerned about your child’s walking or lower limb development, consulting a podiatrist is a good first step to address any potential issues and ensure your child’s healthy development.

Advanced Family & Sports Podiatry

Get In Touch With Our Friendly Team

Advanced Family & Sports Podiatry, located at 37/39 Pioneer Road, Albany, is a modern, well equipped and professionally managed podiatry practice servicing the Albany community.
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