A gait evaluation is an assessment technique commonly used by health professionals to examine the way that their patients run or walk. The purpose of it is to assess if the gait is leading to any concerns that they may be having and to help plan any treatments which might be needed to alter the gait to help with those concerns. It is just a matter of seeing a person walk, however really complex equipment and statistical analysis may be done. With one end of the range would just be a visual examination of the way that an individual walks, however the challenge with that is the fact that quite a few functions of the running cycle occur so rapidly for the eyes to see appropriately. The are many applications available these days for smartphones to record the way in which an individual is walking or running and then slow the frames per second recorded on replay to carry out a more in depth analysis. On the other end of the range will be the complicated 3D assessment which is done with plenty of trackers placed on the body and the use of multiple digital cameras which a computer next converts into a 3D replay of the gait.
There are additional methods of examining the gait for example using techniques which assess muscle activity or pressures beneath the feet. These additional methods may be used with the above systems to allow a complete summary of the gait of an individual. Just what method is used and exactly how in-depth the assessment is completed is going to be influenced by the type of the clinical challenge that the patient has and how complicated it is and how sophisticated that the treatment is required to be. Researching laboratories also employ different methods for research and they commonly use apparatus at the more complex end of the options.
Among the fundamental issues is the distinction between a 2 dimensional (2D) and a 3 dimensional (3D) gait analysis. A 2D assessment costs less, but a 3D analysis gives you much more information. A 2D assessment simply typically investigates motion in one plane or direction and it is comparable to taking a look at a photograph. It is typically done with just one single video camera. A 3D examination looks at movement in all directions, therefore makes use of multiple cameras and relies on considerable processing resources to blend all the data from the three cameras.
An additional fundamental choice may be the use of a treadmill machine. A treadmill means that the client can be analysed in one place at the same consistent speed on several occasions. An overground assessment can make it harder to regulate for the speed, particularly on subsequent occasions. The other issue is that there are actually numerous variations between the running on a treadmill as opposed to a gait overground, therefore it might not be a genuine portrayal of how someone walks or runs.
Most of the issues surrounding gait analysis, especially the use of 2D and 3D in a clinical setting has been talked about with an expert, Chris Bishop in an episode of the podiatry livestream, PodChatLive. In the episode the hosts chatted with him about the choices that health professionals have to use in their day-to-day clinical work.