Systematic study of animal motion and more specifically human motion is gait analysis it uses human observation brain interplatation, instrumental augment done by measuring body movement, body mechanism and muscle activity.
Gait analyses is important in assessing ,planning, and treating an individual with condition affecting his or her ability to walk, this technique also finds it use in sports particularly athletics in biomechanics to assist athletes run well and identify any problem within them that may result from injury.
Process and equipment
A gait laboratory is well equipped with cameras that are all round placed a walkway or a treadmill and are all computer linked, markers are placed on a patient body on various reference point that includes pelvis, ankle malleolus, iliac spine and condyles of the kneel, the patient walks down the catwalk or treadmill as the computer calculates each markers trajectory in three dimensions, A model is then applied to calculate the underlying bones movement, this is then used to get a complete breakdown of each bone movement.
Floor-mounted load transducer /force platform found in most lab are used in kinetic calculation, they measures ground reaction force and moments, pedobarography equipment are used to measure spatial force distribution , this combined with known dynamic body segment aids application of Newton-Euler equation which permitâs net force computation of each joint at every stage of gait cycle.
This kinetic method however does not give individual muscles information but a group of muscle e.g. extensor or flexors of limb. Electrical activity is important in detecting each muscle activity ,surface electrode are used in many labs to detect this electrical activity ,this help in detecting the activation time of muscles and their activation magnitude thus assessing their gait contribution.
Factors and parameters
It is modulated or modified by many factors, change in normal gait pattern can either be transient or permanent factors include.
-· Extrinsic e.g. footwear, terrain, clothing, and cargo.
-· Intrinsic weight, height, age and sex.
-· Physical e.g. physique, height, weight.
-· Psychological, emotions, personality.
-· Physiological, body proportionality measurements.
Gait analysis involves taking of measurement of measurable parameters analyzing them interpreting and conclusion drawing about what is found after this exercise.
Compensation of underlying pathologies may be reflected by pathological gait, gait lab assist in showing cerebral palsy and stroke patient, this gait study helps in diagnoses and intervention strategies to be made. Gait analysis also helps in sport improvement by improving athletic performance.
Gait analysis aids in gait disorder detection and assessment in time for treatment thus preventing future complication that arises from this disorder, thus it is always important if one notice some behavior change in movement he should look for gait analysis to prevent compromising his future it is also important for an athlete to go for regular checkup in order to avoid the defect and in turn remain competitive in his are of sport activity for a long time.