We have seen great strides (pardon the pun!) in the technology available to podiatrists over the past couple of decades.
We are all living longer and want the best possible quality of life – and modern technology can play a role in achieving this.
As part of our commitment to providing our clients with superior foot care, our Redlands podiatry clinic is equipped with the latest technology. By using a computerised gait scanner for example, we can conduct digital gait analysis to identify and prevent any potential issues, before they have a chance to negatively affect your mobility, health and wellbeing.
Digital gait analysis is particularly valuable as it can help detect potential long-term issues, which can arise due to conditions such as:
- differences in limb length;
- or even seemingly minor biomechanical flaws in your foot, ankle or leg.
What is a Computerised Gait Scanner?
The computerised gait scanner captures information about your gait (the way you walk) – far more than can be seen by just observing you as you walk down a corridor.
This innovative diagnostic tool is comprised of around 4000 sensors, with a scan rate of approximately 300 frames per second, providing the podiatrist with a wealth of information that would otherwise be missed by the naked eye.
By capturing approximately one million points of data, acomputerised gait scanner allows your Redlands podiatrist to assess the actual pressure on specific areas of the sole, through each of the three stages of gait:
- The heel strike phase;
- Mid-stance – when your foot is directly on the floor and your body is directly above your foot; and
- The toe off stage.
In years gone by, podiatrists had to rely on looking at the sole of your foot, and wear and tear on your footwear, to indicate any biomechanical flaws or problems.
Now, digital gait analysis can reveal any signs of overload in a particular area before it becomes a problem, and is particularly useful for a number of reasons.
Identifying Over Use Injuries
A lot of the conditions we see in our Redlands podiatry clinic are due to over use.
Over use does NOT mean that the client has done too much or too little. Rather, it may be that there is a biomechanical flaw in the way that the foot works in conjunction with the ankle, knee and back, and over time this repetitive strain, stress and excessive load takes its toll.
As a result that particular structure or affected area of the body becoming fatigued; when fatigue occurs, the chances of injury increase; and then the quality of life starts to decline.
Digital Gait Analysis for Diabetics
Digital gait analysis is just one of the ways a podiatrist can assist diagnosed diabetics, whose poor circulation and reduced nerve sensitivity can lead to a number of foot problems.
With our computerised gait scanner, your Redlands podiatrist can actually assess the loads under the various points of the sole of your foot. We know what is considered a normal load for a particular area on your foot – based on your foot size, the shoe that you’re wearing, the surfaces you’re walking on, and most importantly, your body weight.
If we diagnose overload, we can potentially prevent ulceration of the sole of the foot. Digital gait analysis allows us to detect any problems at a very early stage – long before you will even notice them – so we can prescribe an insole, orthotics, padding or shoe modification, to reduce that excessive load and prevent future complications.
We can help diabetic patients even when they have developed an ulcer, as we can still measure the load and then design a device or innersole specifically for that client’s foot, and their individual biomechanics. This will assist the healing process, reduce the risk of infection, and the risk of amputation – which not only has a huge impact on the patient’s life, but also places great strain on our health system.
Digital gait analysis is a valuable tool in the hands of a trained podiatrist. If you have any concerns with your feet or lower limbs, please make an appointment at our Redlands Podiatry Clinic, by calling 3207 4736 or you can book online.