Gait analysis – The Secret to reduce injury, reduce pain, while improving comfort and performance!

Aug 18, 2021

Gait analysis measures the forces your foot has to cope with, which is then transmitted through your legs as you move.

These intricacies of movement impact upon the long term resilience of your feet and ankles determining whether you develop pain or discomfort. 

Gait analysis is used to treat current pain and discomfort caused by an irregular gait. Common conditions include pain into the big toe, across the ball of your foot or into the arch. Heel pain such as plantar faciiitis, achilles pain, or ankle joint injuries or osteoarthritis. You don’t need to be in pain to benefit, supporting and stabilising the gait during exercise will prevent undue stress on parts of the feet and ankles due to misalignment, reducing injury risk, reducing pain and improving performance and comfort.

Previously, gait analysis was based upon experience and assumptions made by the therapist. Often static measurements where taken, clients were asked to run on a treadmill or make an impression with their feet in a mould.

Standing in a box of clay taking a mould is not the same as how your feet perform when walking or running.  Our assessment method had to progress as our knowledge and technology advanced.  I also find it incredible when people think they have had gait analysis in a running shop. performed by someone who had 1 hour of training and put someone on a treadmill to tell them they need this type of trainer.  When you run your foot is in contact with the ground for 0.3 of second.

After two decades of watching people run and walk I still find this challenging.  This technology helps us analyse your movement more accurately and make better decisions about your treatment, any intervention and ultimately your health and quality of life.

These methods either happen too fast to be interpreted correctly, or do not give an accurate depiction of the feet in motion whilst carrying out several movement types. They simply cannot look underneath the feet at the critical movement of load transfer. 

These assumptions left much room for error and led to an outcome where an off the shelf insole was purchased that treated the left and right foot equally.

Optimal was the first clinic in Scotland to bring you a cutting edge gait analysis process using a scanner with 4,000 sensors. The scanner provides the only way to view what previously could not be seen, and the ability to slow down movements to allow in depth analysis of how forces travel through the feet when in contact with the ground during walking, running, squatting and balancing. Any abnormal loading patterns are then easily identified to create custom insoles to address the needs of each person and foot individually. 

Runners, hill walkers, golfers, skiers or anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet benefit from gait analysis, combining this technology with our expert physiotherapy clinicians to provide treatment specific to your sport and needs.

We will ask you to perform a series of movements and walk across a square pad on the floor. The 4000 sensors give the most accurate assessment of dynamic gait analysis currently available, detecting and assessing everything your foot does when in contact with the ground. (this video shows a typical gait analysis session)

This links to the latest and most accurate 3D printing technology to provide the lightest, most durable and most effective custom made insoles on the market by Phits, used by Marathon legend, Paula Radcliffe.

Paula told us “I never run without them, even for walking I use the insoles, they are always in my shoes. I don’t think I ran without my orthotics since 1997. And certainly since I got the Phits insoles, every run is done with them. “

Now if that isn’t the best testimonial ever I don’t know what is. But if you need more evidence, then Manchester City use the same technology in their medicals and Erling Haaland was seen using this same technology as he signed before their treble winning season. So you are getting access to the best gait analysis technology available out with full 3D running biomechanics assessments.

If you want to know more about gait analysis and custom made orthotics then please watch the videos below.


If you suffer from foot or ankle pain or want to assess whether your comfort and performance could be improved with the help of gait analysis get in touch online or by calling 0333 3010205.

I have also put together a great ebook on foot related pain and

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