The Way You Walk and Run

Walking and running is part of most people’s everyday life, but we rarely stop to think about the ‘way’ we walk, or how we ‘look’ when we run – unless someone points it out to us, sometimes embarrassingly so! (I’ve been told multiple times I look ‘unco-ordinated’ when I run). 

In this series we will cover 4 main topics:

  • What is ‘Gait’, why does it matter? & common problems
  • How is ‘Gait’ assessed?
  • Different Styles of Gait 
  • Gait Retraining & Exercises for Improvement
  • What is ‘Gait’? Why does it matter? (Common problems)

A person’s gait involves the way they move when walking or running (ie. running gait), both of which are very different.

While a podiatrist will often focus on a patient’s foot & ankle movement, gait is also heavily influenced by a person’s hearing, sight, sense of balance, and upper body muscles to help them move appropriately based on their surroundings.

As such, some problems that can affect a person’s gait include:

  • Joint pain / arthritis
  • Muscle pain / weakness / tightness
  • Nerve problems (eg. pinched/inflamed nerves)
  • Growth abnormalities / skeletal deformities
  • Poor foot posture (eg. flat feet)
  • Poor balance / Vertigo

Identifying problems in a person’s gait is key to understanding: what is causing problems & pains for someone, how to manage current foot & ankle problems, and how to prevent possible future injuries.

In upcoming posts we’ll go further into the ins-and-outs of gait, what it means for you, and what you can do to improve it!

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