Gait analysis looks at your body’s movement (biomechanics) during running. It is commonly used to help athletes run more efficiently and to identify movement-related problems for people who have injuries.
The podiatrist at South West Podiatry specialises in how people people walk and run to maximize there efficiently and prevent injury. Each person’s foot is slightly different, but there are three main types of pronation:
- Neutral pronation
- Underpronation, also known as supination
A neutrally pronating foot will step with the outside of the heel or mid part of the foot. The foot then rolls inwards so that your weight is spread evenly across the front part of your foot. During this stage, your knee will normally follow the direction of your second toe. The ‘rolling inwards’ motion of your foot as your weight shifts acts as a cushioning for your body.
Neutral pronation is most efficient for running as it provides your body with the most amounts of cushioning, as well as keeping your lower limbs balanced and your trunk aligned. Insoles will often aim to establish as ‘Neutral Pronated’ foot type (not high arched and not low arched). It is important to have an assessment with a qualified podiatrist to make sure the insoles is right for your condition.
This occurs when the foot rolls inwards too much. This causes your weight to spread unevenly, putting excessive weight on your big toe. This puts increased stress on your bones, muscles and tendons. It can also cause your leg to turn inwards putting your knee and hip out of alignment. Overpronation can be a factor in the developing many common overuse running injuries such as Achilles tendinopathy, medial tibial stress syndrome and Bunions. Most people overpronate slightly, especially people with flat feet. These people should wear motion control or stability trainers to help control the excessive rolling inwards motion and maintain good alignment. Additionally, overpronation can be corrected using orthotics. Orthotics is special in-soles that fit in your shoes, for example, arch support.
Underpronation is the opposite of overpronation – your feet don’t roll inwards enough. This is often happens if the arches of your feet are high. This causes excessive weight on the outside bone of your foot. As with overpronation, this results in poor cushioning for your body which may make stress fractures more likely. People who underpronate should wear cushioned trainers with maximum shock absorption to reduce the stress on their lower legs and back.
Insoles / Orthotics
Treatments typically include a combination of advice, exercises, stretches, and the use of orthotics (shoe insoles). An orthotic is a device that is placed inside the shoe to change the way the foot works. Two different types of orthotics are commonly available: Temporary, which are made from a generic model and last a year or so, or Custom Orthotics, which are made from a cast of your Feet and provide a tailored prescription that lasts many years. They can be made for specific purposes, such as sports or general wear, or a combination of both, including heels. It is important to note that some insoles may not fit into all your shoes. You can discuss your requirements, choices and preferences to get the best possible orthotics for your specific problems and needs. Strength, flexibility and posture are all important in the treatment and prevention of problems. Treatment may also include the referrals to additional allied health practitioners, such as physiotherapists.
The cost of treatment will vary depending on the type of treatment required. Your practitioner will discuss with you the expected cost prior to treatment.