By a systematic study of human motion, trained observers watch the body movements of a person and use instruments as tools in order to measure the activity of the muscles. The majority of people think that gait analysis is simply a shoe store salesman watching you walk and offering an effective pair of running shoes for your type of “gait.” That is by far, not a correct assumption.
Athletes are analyzed statically, dynamically and possibly on a treadmill. During this type of gait analysis a person’s unique “map” is determined. This map will reveal many things within the programming of your body. Kinesthetic awareness, levels of mobility, flexibility and stability are analyzed. Strength is also taken into account with this comprehensive evaluation of gait.
Gait analysis uncovers your body’s pattern of movement, from standing still to a running stride. All of your compensations will be uncovered. This will allow physical therapists to understand how you lose efficacy in your mobility.
Everyone compensates, but athletes often overly compensate which leads to major dysfunction if it occurs for extended periods of time. Compensation leads to imbalance around the joints. When larger muscles are not allowed to do their job the smaller muscles take over. When this happens the smaller muscles becomes weak and prone to damage.
Analyzing and correcting the compensations are what therapists do for their patients. Imbalanced and improper movements lead to a high risk of injury. A physical therapist is an athlete’s best friend and could be yours too.