When is a 3D gait analysis useful

When is a 3D gait analysis useful?

At NK Active we see patients all the time with aches and pains triggered by exercise that prevent them from being active and these injuries are often as a result of their own gait.

Your gait is simply how you walk and run – the biomechanical movement of your body. If you have abnormal biomechanics, it causes stress to your inner body and there’s an increased risk of injury to skeletal muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints.

NK Active is one of only a few clinics in the UK able to offer 3D gait analysis, using a state-of-the-art system that uses 3D motion cameras and sensors to scientifically analyse the way you walk or run

So, what is 3D gait analysis?

Gait analysis is the study of motion. This is called Kinematics and in NK Active we use 3D gait analysis to measure this.

Using 3 x 3D infrared cameras and 37 reflective markers placed on your lower limbs we create a skeleton of you – this is the same technology used in films like Planet of the Apes and Avatar and also used in medical research.

Patients have described it as like having an MRI of how you run and walk!

What does a 3D gait analysis do?

This technology allows us look at your pelvis, hip, knee and ankle function. It also allows us to see how the hip effects the ankle and vice versa. So, for example if you are suffering with a foot problem, we can determine if the movement patterns in the hip are affecting the foot.

Most of our patients get very excited when we create a skeleton of them and they can see it move on the screen; this is usually accompanied by a little dance!

When would it be useful for me to have a 3D gait analysis?

Not everyone needs a 3D gait analysis.

For example, if you have picked up an injury and your activity levels have recently increased from walking or running a 10k a week to 40k a week, it is likely that the injury is not related to how you walk or run but instead due to the sudden increase in activity levels (we also call this load).

As with every test, the important factor is using it at the right time.

A rule of thumb we use in clinic:-

1. If direct trauma caused the injury? NO 3D GAIT

2. A sudden change in activity levels? NO 3D GAIT

3. Long history of injuries on and off? YES 3D GAIT

4. If you answer No to questions 1) and 2)? YES 3D GAIT5.

5. Pain occurs when you start to get tired ? Possible 3D GAIT

6. Looking at the effects of trauma injury (eg RTAs) or joint replacements? 3D Gait may be useful

What types of 3D gait do we offer in NK Active?

There are 3 types of 3D gait we can offer in NK Active:

  • Silver – 3D gait and report
  • Gold – 3D gait report and strength testing. This is useful when we want to see if certain joints are moving too much or too little. This, in combination with the strength testing, can confirm if that motion is related to a reduction in strength or not.
  • Fatigue – 3D gait using a heart rate (HR) strap keeping HR 140 or above for 30 minutes. If you keep your HR above 140 for 30min it will reliably replicate the effects of fatigue, so we can compare base line running and your running technique once fatigued to see how your running changes as you get tired. This is useful if you are prone to acquiring injuries half way into your half marathon.

Want to know more?

If you would like to learn more, you can head over to our 3D gait page and if you have any questions please get in touch with the team.

Please note that an initial appointment is required prior to a 3D gait analysis; at the initial appointment we can assess your foot health, discuss your issue and provide you with a tailored treatment plan.

You can book an appointment online or alternatively call one of the team on 01794 840155. #NKActive #moveforward

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