Gait Analysis

Gait analysis can help find reason for achilles tendonitisA person's “gait” is a way of describing the mechanical form our body uses during walking or running. Proper mechanics in running help ensure that the legs and feet are working in the manner that they should. Sometimes the form we take during running or walking may contribute to problems in our Achilles tendon and other areas. This form, or gait, is important to runners due to the fact that improper mechanical form can lead to a series of issues and injuries. When you are running, excess tension or stress placed on the Achilles tendon, can lead to AT. This will happen if you are placing excess weight on the heel when the foot strikes the ground. This excess weight during impact (when your foot strikes the ground) may not only contribute to damage to the heel, but also injure the tendons that move our feet during running. Gait analysis can be a tricky thing due to the fact that when athletes are accustomed to a specific form, the habit can be hard to break. It may even be difficult to recognize improper gait because if it is your way of running, it does not seem like it could be wrong. However, certain ways of running have been proven to cause specific problems such as AT. It may be helpful to have a friend videotape you while you run, so that you can investigate your running style and see if it is a factor of your Achilles problems. Another option available is to hire a professional who will be able to examine your gait and find areas that need improvement. They may record your movement on a treadmill and examine it with computer software. This process is usually only necessary if you continue to have issues because of your gait and you and a physician cannot find the error.