Gait Analysis

What is Gait Analysis?

Gait Analysis or Biomechanics relates to how our bodies move. Biomechanics can be applied to any area of the body; however, Gait Analysis applies more specifically to movement that occurs in the foot and ankle when walking or running.


When we walk or run, the foot and ankle work together to provide a lever system upon which we can speed up or slow down, move forwards or backwards, and go side-to-side. Because they are the first point of contact with the ground, the foot and ankle also work together to provide shock absorption.


As a whole, the foot and ankle is an extremely complex area with a total of 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. The foot and ankle relies on all these bones, joints and muscles to work in harmony together producing a very finely balanced and coordinated part of the body. It’s a miracle that it works so well!


So what happens when it stops working? 4 out of 5 people have what’s known as a ‘biomechanical anomaly’. Somewhere, something within all those muscles and joints stops doing its job. This will eventually appear as pain.


Injuries directly associated with poor biomechanics include, Heel pain or Plantar Fasciitis, tight Calves, Achilles Tendon pain, Runners Knee and ITB Syndrome. Secondary effects of poor biomechanics can also cause hamstring strains, groin strains and low back pain.


Why all these injuries? Essentially your foot and ankle acts like the tracking on a car. If the tracking is out even slightly, it will, over time affect the way the tires wear and then subsequently the steering until the whole cars performance is effected. The body performs in much the same way. Low arches or flat feet reduce the capacity to absorb shock, and stiff joints limit normal movement causing abnormal stress within the calf, knee, hip, and lower back.


Orthotics and Insoles will neutralise low arches or flat feet and limit the effect of stiffness within the joints.


Most people can benefit from orthotic insoles and all our Physiotherapists are trained in Biomechanical Assessment. Whatever you’re sport or situation we can offer a number of orthotic insoles ranging from £30 to £300.