Gait analysis in Greater St. Louis. Gait analysis, also called motion analysis, is a way physical therapists and other healthcare professionals can evaluate your movement to offer better treatment and get you back to the activities you love. Whether you’re an athlete recovering from an injury or you’re trying to manage arthritis, gait analysis can be part of an overall, evidence-backed treatment plan that’s personalized for your lifestyle and goals.
Your St. Louis physical therapist can use gait analysis to:
- Diagnose and treat gait disorders
- Discover underlying musculoskeletal or nerve dysfunction that causes pain or affects movement health
- Evaluate and monitor treatment outcomes
- Prevent and rehab injuries
- Prescribe orthotic or prosthetic devices
- Find footwear that’s comfortable and helps prevent injuries
At Axes Physical Therapy in St. Louis, our team of physical and occupational therapists are dedicated to one thing: positive patient outcomes. If you’re wondering if gait analysis gain help you, call the Axes’ location nearest you or request an appointment online to get started with your treatment today.
What Is Gait Analysis?
When done by licensed physical therapists, gait analysis is an evaluation of how you move, specifically how you walk and run. By understanding how you move, your physical therapist can offer insights into muscle imbalances, injury risks, the progress of injury recovery, and more. Because our gaits our the result of a combination of factors – strength, flexibility, coordination, vision, the vestibular system – gait analysis can provide a valuable look at your overall movement health.
In a gait analysis appointment, your Axes physical therapist in St. Louis will look at:
- Step length and width
- Cadence (number of steps taken per minute)
- Foot and ankle alignment to see if you have tendencies towards pronation (inward rolling) or supination (outward rolling)
- Joint movement and range of motion
- Movement of the pelvis to see if there is excessive rotating or titling
- Stability, balance, and body sway (the amount of lateral movement)
- Step repeatability (the similarity of your steps)
With a precise understanding of your gait, your St. Louis physical therapist can customize your treatment and help you achieve the most benefit for your movement health and fitness.
Who Gait Analysis Can Help in St. Louis
While gait analysis isn’t a treatment in and of itself, it provides valuable information to your physical therapist about your movement health, allowing them to offer more targeted and personalized treatment. As such, gait analysis can benefit a wide range of people in the St. Louis area:
- Athletes looking for a competitive advantage — Proper form becomes increasingly important at the highest level of competition. Gait analysis allows athletes to improve their form, address muscle imbalances and range of motion limitations, and prevent injury.
- Athletes recovering from injury — If you’re recovering from an ACL tear or other sports injury, gait analysis can be used to track your progress and ensure your body is recovering and building strength correctly.
- Anyone else recovering from injury — Whether you were injured at work, in a car accident, or recently had surgery, you don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from gait analysis in recovering from trauma.
- Runners — Whether you’re just starting out in a beginner running program or you’re a seasoned vet, gait analysis can help you find the right footwear, which, along with other insights from gait analysis, can improve your speed, conserve energy, and reduce the risk of injury.
- Amputees — Having a limb removed can drastically disrupt your movement health, as well as cause phantom pain. Gait analysis allows healthcare professionals to design and fit orthotic and prosthetic devices customized for your body and lifestyle. It can also help you adapt to your new device and optimize its function and comfort.
- Those suffering from neurological conditions — Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, stroke, and other conditions can greatly affect our everyday functioning and movement health. Gait analysis allows healthcare professionals to monitor disease progression, evaluate treatment effectiveness, and guide rehabilitation strategies.
- Older adults — Our bodies weaken as we age. This can lead to an increased risk of falling for older adults, as well as degenerative conditions such as tendonitis and arthritis. Gait analysis can help find ways to take pressure off of painful joints and limit injury risks, and assess the cognitive and motor aspects of movement health.
Regardless of why you’re seeking out physical therapy, whether it’s to finally run that marathon or just go about your day-to-day life without pain, Axes’ licensed St. Louis physical and occupational therapists will use gait analysis to personalize your treatment, maximize your care, and get you back to the activities you love.
Two Types of Gait Analysis
There are generally two types of gait analysis:
- Qualitative gait analysis — Also called clinical gait analysis, this involves a physical therapist observing your gait in real time and in video recordings. This allows your physical therapist to have a general overview of your movement health and easily identify any noticeable regularities. Therapists use their clinical expertise to draw conclusions from qualitative gait analysis.
- Quantitative gait analysis — Also called instrument assisted gait analysis, this approach uses specialized technology, such as sensors and motion capture software, to provide objective, hard data about your gait. These precise numerical values allow for more detailed analysis and tracking of your improvement over time.
Both types of gait analysis are appropriate in the right circumstances and with the right patients. At Axes, our St. Louis team has the capabilities and expertise to tailor our gait analysis services to your specific needs.
Axes’ DorsaVi Video Motion Analysis in St. Louis
At Axes, our main priority is providing positive patient outcomes and getting people back to the things they love most. That means utilizing every tool we can to help our St. Louis patients thrive. When we perform gait analysis in St. Louis, our physical therapists use state-of-the-art DorsaVi video motion analysis to offer both qualitative and quantitative services.
- Sensors are placed on your body that track your movement, muscle activity, and static postures
- DorsaVi’s software translates that complex data into useful information your physical therapist can read
- In video replay, your movements are slowed down so your physical therapist can better analyze and break down movement
- Your Axes’ physical therapist combines those insights with their professional clinical observations to prescribe effective, evidence-backed treatment modalities
- Progress is tracked over time and compared against the average population and your previous sessions
Axes’ Approach to Gait Analysis in St. Louis
Axes Physical Therapy is committed to providing our St. Louis patients with effective, safe, and evidence-backed treatment plans that fit their lifestyles and goals. Gait analysis can be part of your personalized treatment plan:
- To get started, ask your doctor if gait analysis may be beneficial for you, or come to any Axes’ location for a free injury screening.
- We’ll conduct a thorough history taking and physical examination to understand your goals, preferences, and medical history.
- We’ll form a team with you and your doctor, incorporating gait analysis results into your overall treatment, movement health, and wellness.
- We’ll prescribe personalized treatment plans with methodologies proven to work through research and peer-reviewed studies.
- In addition to physical therapy exercises, we’ll help you select appropriate footwear, braces, or other devices, and educate you on proper posture and movement health through insights gained from gait analysis.
- We’ll use gait analysis, along with other metrics and indicators, to track your progress and adjust your treatment plan as needed.
Axes offers far more than just a list of exercises to check off a list. With decades of combined experience, clinical expertise, and innovative technologies at our fingertips, Axes offers an entire team of St. Louis physical therapists who are driven to get you the best results in your treatment.
Call Axes’ for Your Gait Analysis in St. Louis Today
Gait analysis is a valuable tool that can help you improve your health and performance, whether that means flying down the court even faster or getting up the stairs without pain. As we’re committed to offering personalized, evidence-backed treatment plans, we’re one of the few clinics in the St. Louis area that offers video motion analysis. If you want to improve your movement health, call the Axes location nearest you or contact us online to see if gait analysis in St. Louis is right for you.