The Benefits of a Professional Gait Analysis

The Benefits of a Professional Gait Analysis

It doesn’t matter at what level you participate in a sport or activity. Most people enjoy having fun and performing well. A sports injury can rob you of that enjoyment, dulling your game or keeping you on the sidelines. Surprisingly, many injuries occur because of the way you already play. 

The human body can move in remarkable ways, with power and strength, but just as with any complex machine, parts need to be in alignment and balanced to reach peak performance. Professional gait analysis provides a way to uncover issues with movement before they cause problems with performance or injure joints and soft tissue. 

Dr. Tony Zemlinsky and the team at Active Rehab Clinics use the Optojump Next system to measure and analyze the gait of their patients who seek to optimize their athletic performance, no matter what the activity. The Optojump Next can pinpoint movement issues that often happen too quickly for proper assessment through visual observation alone. 

What is gait analysis?

Traditional gait analysis is typically a visual reference. For example, a shoe fitting might involve someone watching you run on a treadmill to identify patterns such as how your feet land and to recognize misalignments of the major joints. 

This type of gait analysis depends on the skill of the person assessing your movement. You might be at the mercy of the staff working in a sports store. Also, there’s no capacity for comparison months in the future. 

Optojump Next uses two bars as part of its measuring system. Each bar contains 96 diodes, with one set emitting and the other receiving. As you move between the bars, breaking contact between emitter and receiver, the system generates and stores data. 

This quantifies your movements with accuracy measured down to thousandths of a second, a much higher resolution than can be detected by the human eye. Combining software analysis of the data created by the Optojump Next bars with video analysis provides ultra-detailed perspectives about how your body moves. 

The benefits of gait analysis

Issues with gait can come down to habit. When you learn a movement or task with less than ideal form, you may remain unaware of the inefficiencies that become built in. Other times, gait problems start because of injury. As you cope — playing through the pain or favoring the injured side — your motion may change, inducing new inefficiencies as you attempt to minimize pain or weakness that result from the injury. 

Once a mechanical inefficiency is spotted through gait analysis, Dr. Z can then develop a treatment plan to correct both the cause of the gait variation and the variation itself. This can improve your balance, load distribution, and posture, returning your movements to even, neutral centers, taking undue strain off of load-bearing joints, and reducing the risk of further motion-related injury. 

Contact Active Rehab Clinics at the location nearest you, by phone or online, to learn more about the benefits of professional gait analysis. Book your consultation now to get back in the game as quickly and as smartly as you can.

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