Gait Analysis

A gait analysis is a detailed look into the way that your muscles, bones, joints and ligaments in your feet and legs all work together to produce movement, whether you’re walking or running. The information our podiatrists gather during this analysis is important in guiding your care and treatment with us, and ensures your management plan is uniquely tailored to help you get the best results.


What Is A Video Gait Analysis With A Podiatrist?

Having a gait analysis with our Masterton podiatrists means that we observe, record and analyse your gait on a video treadmill, and use this information to understand the muscle, bone or nerve pain you may be experiencing – or simply why you may not be performing as optimally on the field as you could be.


A professional video gait analysis is very different to what you may experience when fitting a sports shoe at a running shoe store with a treadmill. This assessment is purely designed to help determine whether a certain shoe is giving you a good level of support. Our assessments help uncover the causes of pains, injuries and suboptimal movement.


What Happens During My Video Gait Analysis?

Your role in a video gait analysis is easy and straightforward. Your podiatrist will let you know whether you should be walking with bare feet or in your regular shoes, and you’ll be asked to walk at your natural walking pace on the treadmill, provided your pain or symptoms don’t make this difficult or unsafe for you. You’ll walk for approximately one minute or slightly longer, during which we’ll record your gait. Many people unconsciously alter the way they walk when they know they’re being recorded, however, with some time on the treadmill, this reverts to your natural walking pattern. 


Depending on the nature of your injury and your sports involvement, we may also ask you to run at a natural pace on the treadmill. After that, your part of the analysis is complete, and it’s over to your podiatrist to analyse your gait and clearly explain to you exactly what they’re seeing and what it means for you.


What Happens After My Gait Analysis?

After we finish your video gait analysis, we’ll go over the video recording with you, explaining exactly what we’re seeing, and what it means for your foot health. Examples of things that your gait analysis may reveal include:


  • That you’re hitching your hip to take a step, which may be leading to your hip pain and will prompt us to investigate whether you have a leg length difference that makes you naturally take this hitching action. If you do, this is something we can easily treat.
  • The biomechanics of your feet means that your forefoot is being overloaded during gait, which may explain the joint pain and swelling at the ball of your foot that we call capsulitis
  • Your high-arched foot seems unstable during gait from the way it moves, prompting us to investigate whether you may have chronic ankle instability
  • Your tight Achilles tendon is causing you to lift your heel early and paired with your flat foot posture, load your big toe in an unnatural way, which may explain the start of the bunion you have noticed

As your gait analysis is performed together with a comprehensive assessment to give us the full picture of your foot and leg health, the valuable information we learn from your gait analysis will then be considered together with your foot posture, muscle strength testing, range of motion testing and other tests to give you a diagnosis, discuss the likely causes of your foot problems, and create a personalised treatment plan.


Your gait analysis is a key part of creating an effective treatment plan for a wide range of conditions including:




Benefits Of Video Gait Analysis

The key benefits of video gait analysis are in the information and insight that it offers that truly personalises your treatment plan and sets you up for success. This includes: 


  • Better understand your physiology: from your results, you’ll better understand how and why things are working the way they do, likely uncovering a reason or contributing factor to any pains or problems you’re experiencing. Once you know what’s going on and why, you’re in the best place to make impactful changes and make the best decisions for your body under a range of circumstances – from buying shoes to selecting specific workouts.
  • Diagnose conditions associated with running or sport: if you’re investing your time and effort into playing sports, you want to be making the most of it or at least making it as easy for yourself as possible. The data from your gait analysis can help uncover both weaknesses during running and sports that you can address, as well as risk factors that you can overcome.
  • Improve foot, knee and back discomfort: our feet are the foundations of our body, and affect the chain all the way up to our knees, hips and back. When discomfort is present, we can look to our biomechanics and foot pressure to understand what’s causing the discomfort, and then make adjustments to improve how we move, promoting seamless pain-free movement.
  • Check the effects of your treatment: We can also use gait analysis to track the different components of your treatment such as orthotics, footwear modifications and exercise programs, further guiding and personalising your treatment plan.


To undertake a video gait analysis, book in for your biomechanical assessment with our team here.




Can I do a gait analysis if I’ve never used a treadmill before?

Yes, our podiatrists will support you throughout the entire assessment and you don’t need to walk very fast on the treadmill for us to be able to capture a natural gait pattern that we can assess.


What should I wear for my assessment?

Shorts or pants and a shirt is fine – just avoid restrictive clothing or clothes that obstruct our view of your lower leg, foot and ankle (though it’s no problem to roll pants up). Please bring your regular walking or exercise shoes as we check these as part of your assessment.


How do you get so much information from watching me walk?

Watching you walk shows us how your bones, joints and muscles are moving every time you take a step. We can see if something happens too early, too late, a muscle is being overused, a joint is being overloaded, and so much more. Given that what we see on one step is amplified up to 10,000 times per day (with each step), it gives us a very clear picture of the forces your feet and legs are being exposed to each day, and how that relates to the symptoms and problems you’re facing.


What if I can’t walk ‘normally’ while someone is watching?

Don’t worry, we’ll start our camera and you’ll keep walking until we notice you shift into a natural stride without overthinking how you walk – something that many people can’t help but focus on when they’re in a podiatry clinic! This may take 30 seconds, and then we only need 10-15 seconds or so of footage of your natural gait for your assessment.