Stay on your feet with gait analysis

There is a lot of pressure to stay on our feet. We are told to keep moving, walk 10,000 steps a day, get up from your desk at regular intervals and exercise regularly.

Foot, ankle and calf pain can all result from our poor feet trying to keep up to the rigours of these expectations. 

Foot, ankle and calf pain can therefore result in those feet being up and resting more than we would like them to be. 

There are largely unknown forces being imposed on the soles of our feet and significant effort is exerted to stabilise and drive our bodies forward. Our individual postures and movements make each step unique and treating any pain or injury will often rely on understanding the chain reactions through our bodies step by step. 

Gait analysis plays a role in finding out what forces are at work through the soles of our feet as we step. It measures the forces your foot has to cope with, which are then transmitted through your legs as you move. These intricacies of movement impact upon the long term resilience of your feet and ankles determining whether you develop pain or discomfort.

In the past there have been several tools used to try and map this process and if you have ever tried to buy a pair of running shoes you might be familiar with some of these, although many are now out dated and leave significant room for error and interpretation:

  • Analysis on a treadmill doesn’t show what is happening underneath the foot, is difficult to interpret and open to bias from the clinician.
  • Moulds where you push your foot into an impression box are simply out of date and not as accurate as they could be.
  • Off the shelf orthotics treat the left and the right foot equally despite each foot behaving differently requiring a more customisable solution.

The analysis and treatment of these conditions could simply not incorporate the individuality of each case – UNTIL NOW.

There is now available a foot scanner which enables dynamic gait analysis.

A pressure pad with over 4000 sensors it the most accurate assessment of dynamic gait analysis currently available. Only possible with this equipment, it detects and assesses how your foot really behaves when in contact with the ground.

Without this technology we can’t fully understand how the foot is behaving. Previous to this we had a rough idea, but very limited information. We had to work on assumptions and experience. This led to inconsistency.

This system not only solves these issues but also provides a reliable outcome measure to compare effectiveness of treatments and assess you in standing, balancing, walking, running and squatting.

The analysis then informs how best to support and stabilise the gait during exercise preventing undue stress on parts of the feet and ankles due to misalignment, reducing injury risk, reducing pain and improving performance and comfort.

Who is it for?

Runners, hillwalkers, golfers, skiers or anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet.

Common conditions include pain into the big toe, across the ball of your foot or into the arch. Heel pain such as plantar faciiitis, achilles pain, or ankle joint injuries or pain such as osteoarthritis. You don’t need to be in pain to benefit, we can use it to improve comfort, performance and reduce injury.

How Does It Work?

We will ask you to perform a series of movements and walk across a square pad on the floor creating a map of where the forces act on your foot and how they change as you step. 

This information can be linked directly to Phits 3D printed insole technology which is used to create custom made insoles.

We can improve the fitting to suit running shoes, golf shoes, football boots, cycling shoes, or ski boots. We combine this technology with our expert physiotherapy clinicians to provide a completely tailored programme and treatment specific to your sport and your needs

Why Phits?

Paula Radcliff uses these orthotics, because they are the best available on the market, they are comfortable, they improve performance and reduce pain.  If you are going to get an insole or orthotic why would you not want the same as the elite athletes?

What did Paula Radcliffe say about them;

Can you describe the difference between the traditional orthotics and the Phits 3D printed orthotics you wear now?

Paula: Well, the biggest thing is the durability. They simply don’t wear out! You can keep using them, you can run a lot of miles in them and they basically don’t show much damage at all.  I think it’s more precise than the traditional orthotics, and it is lighter. It doesn’t deform with heat and get as soft as with the traditional ones… Sometimes with the older ones, if it was very warm, they would build up, or they would get a hole or they would deform a little bit. The Phits insoles don’t do that.

Do you wear Phits insoles for every run?

Paula:  Yes! I never run without them, even for walking I use the insoles, they are always in my shoes. I don’t think I ran without my orthotics since 1997. And certainly since I got the Phits insoles, every run is done with them.

If you are interested in finding out more about gait analysis or have pain in your feet, ankles or calves get in touch by calling the clinic on 0333 301 0205.