For most people, walking is the most common way to get from point A to point B. Many of us take the ability to walk for granted, without concern about losing our stride. If you’ve been injured or have a debilitating physical condition, you may notice an impact on your ability to walk.
You may experience trouble walking for a number of reasons. Physical therapists can help identify the cause of your walking troubles. They can also develop a personalized treatment plan to address them. Your physical therapist will likely perform a gait evaluation at the beginning of your treatment program.
What is a gait evaluation?
Your gait refers to your manner of walking, so a gait evaluation examines many factors of your walking ability. This type of evaluation works by monitoring your movement on a treadmill or walkway with high-tech motion-tracking cameras. These cameras help trace the following for an accurate physical therapy diagnosis:
- The movement of each of your joints
- Stride distance
- Impact of the force of each step
- Speed and rhythm
- Position of feet and ankles
Additionally, your evaluation can include a biomechanical evaluation of the foot and ankle. The goal of this is to help determine the types of footwear that may improve how you walk.
When should you seek this type of evaluation?
If you have any issues or concerns about your ability to walk efficiently, then you should visit a physical therapist for a gait evaluation. Furthermore, patients with the following conditions can benefit from this service:
- Plantar fasciitis (pain in the heel)
- Knee pain
- Lower back pain
- Hip or knee bursitis
- Shin pain and more
What treatment options can your therapist offer?
Once your evaluation is complete, your physical therapist will be able to develop an individualized treatment plan for you. Knowing the exact details of your walking ability helps your physical therapist recommend exercises and stretches aimed to meet your needs. They can also make footwear recommendations intended to help improve your stride and provide comfort.
Other treatment techniques your physical therapist might use to help improve your walking ability include:
- Manual therapy
- Redcord® therapy
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM)
- Myofascial release
- Virtual care
- At-home therapy
Armor Physical Therapy offers gait evaluations
Would you like to speak with a physical therapist to discover how a gait evaluation can help you? Our Armor Physical Therapy team is ready and willing to help you get the care you need. We offer free screenings that can reveal the source of your walking difficulties. Our team also excels at building individualized therapy plans intended to reduce pain and improve your ability to move. We can even get you started with physical therapy without a doctor’s referral.
Contact us today for more information about our physical therapy services or to schedule an initial appointment.