Fix Your Gait

by | Apr 7, 2019 | Biomechanics, Injury Prevention


Here at Herts Osteopathy we aim to look at the whole picture. This is why will often do a full assessment of your mechanics, feet, hips, spinal biomechanics, gait analysis and force production and absorption in order to get to the crux of your pain.

So many problems and pain patterns are caused by your feet, and your overall biomechanics.
This can be the turning point for most pain prevention and injury healing.

At different points in the gait cycle we have very different, and sometimes opposing, needs of our body. This is why running, and even walking in some people, can cause issues. Our muscles have to change jobs from lengthening under tension (eccentric loading), shortening under tension (concentric), or building up a kinetic potential energy in the form of a coil or spring at relative speed. The requirements are huge, and there is a whole chain of movements, force production, shock absorption, and the whole body working together (beautifully) to produce movement. Our bodies are amazing, and mostly this just goes on beneath the surface without us even really knowing about it. We never have to tell our body how to walk!!……..BUT sometimes a whole load of issues we may have compensated for throughout our lives, all come to the fore. And repetitive loading of the wrong tissues, or in the wrong way, can then lead to injury.

So where do we come in….????

We provide full biomechanical assessment, assessing the way you move through the foot, ankle, knee, hip, pelvis, spine…… We look for how you control forces at the feet, and then work through helping the foot to generate the correct amount of force, load, and at the right time in the gait cycle. It is so interesting, that at certain points we need stiffness and stability through the foot, and at other points we need mobility and supple strength. We need the foot to be able to supinate (roll outwards), and pronate (roll inwards) effectively.

YES, we do need PRONATION!!!!!!!!!

Pronation is actually a super important force required to get over and through the big toe correctly, without it, we get a super stiff big toe, too many forces through the other toes (that horrible painful numbness you can get: Morton’s neuroma and similar issues to this) and a whole host of other problems all the way up to the hip and spine, as the whole body is trying to compensate. As osteopaths we can use various exercises and hands on treatment methods to get your body moving through the correct mechanics. And our bodies are actually amazingly brilliant at adapting to this.

You may want this approach for injury prevention and also specific injury rehabilitation, like those who are suffering “shin splints” “plantar fasciitis” “heel pain” “lower back pain” “runner’s knee”……or those healing from ankle sprains, and other mechanical issues.

We can also help to get you a PB!! Love that this happened with one of our patients a few weeks ago who was coming in just because his wife said he hit his calf with his foot when he ran!!!

So this is fantastic for sports people and those who run and train hard.

However, it’s not just an exercising issue….. We encounter many pelvic issues here from excrutiating, debilitating pain, to low level constant SPD, (and everything in between) here at HO. I will often look at what is happening at the feet in these issues. Significant changes at the feet and force control at the feet are often common in pregnancy and postnatally, so  by addressing these, we can usually make a much longer lasting effective change to the pelvis.

So looking at how your foot moves relative to the rest of your body is so important, whether you are pregnant and experiencing pelvic pain, whether you are training for a marathon, trying to get back to exercise postnatally, or a leisurely walker. We’re here for your #prehab and #rehab

You don’t need to be in pain to come and see an Osteopath. We look at prevention as well as long term cure. Here for you at every stage!!