Biomechanical Analysis is the study or analysis of how one moves – The Physics Of Movement.

Why is this important?

Well, if we can accurately understand how an injured person is moving, we can quickly implement strategies to help them and prevent recurrence.

Pro-Active Physiotherapy has always been at the cutting edge of technology when it comes to Biomechanical Analysis.

WHAT IS THE BIOMECHANICS LAB?

The Biomechanics Lab located at Pro-Active Physiotherapy provides private 3-dimensional (3D) biomechanical analysis, clinical gait and performance analysis facility. We provide gait (walking) and motion analysis services as part of a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan which complements our physiotherapy and podiatry treatments.

WHY WOULD I GET A BIOMECHANICAL ASSESSMENT?

The goal of biomechanical analysis is to identify the primary cause of injury or weakness in the body.

In many cases, most clinicians (be they podiatrist or physio) perform some form of analysis on the way you walk or move in the activity you are having trouble with.

However, most clinical assessments are performed either visually or using a 2-dimensional (2D) approach (i.e. a single video camera) which are open to opinion on what is being seen and  plagued by errors in terms of accuracy. These errors mean that often subtle abnormalities that can lead to injury remain undetected.

In our Biomechanics Lab, we use the latest and most advanced 3-D Analysis technology which combines motion and force data to analyse how each of our patients move in real-time. This provides us with very accurate measurements  of human movement.

We also use gait analysis in the study of sports biomechanics to help our patients run more efficiently, improve their sporting technique or to identify posture-related or movement-related problems in individuals who are injured.

We often see people who have:

  • Running injuries
  • Lower limb pain including plantar heel pain
  • Shin splints
  • Knee pain
  • Low back pain
  • Trauma such as brain injuries
  • Neurological conditions such as Cerebral palsy
  • Difficulties with way the walk (i.e. Children who toe-walk)
  • Misaligned bones and foot abnormalities
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pre and Post Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Issues with balance and falls
  • A desire to improve their performance in golf, cycling, running  or rowing etc

We provide an objective and scientific service, which delivers an effective and evidence-based program that is tailored specifically to the individual.

WHAT WILL A GAIT ANALYSIS TELL ME THAT A STANDARD THERAPIST OR CONSULT CAN’T?

Patients who present to our clinic with injury often present with a number of movement faults as a result of different body parts trying to compensate for a primary injury. It is only when the cause of the problem has been identified and treated, that such compensatory actions can be resolved and a patient can return to pre-injury activity levels.

The human eye cannot observe, process and interpret all of the complex movements of the human body.

It is therefore extremely difficult, even for a trained and experienced clinician, to accurately diagnose which joints are the key reason for the injury.

By undergoing a 3D gait analysis, we can tell our patients how each of their joints in the body moves in three dimensions, whether their muscles are strong enough to allow pain free movement and how much force is acting on their body.

All of this data is then compiled into an individual report, with our thoughts as to why you are deviating from your normal movement pattern and experiencing pain, and we can then provide recommendations as to what you can do to help yourself rehabilitate and get back moving pain free.

Clinicians can then use this information to optimise the assessment of the injury and ultimately, successfully treat the injury.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING A GAIT ANALYSIS?

Each gait analysis consists of two appointments, approximately a week apart.

First Appointment

On the first appointment, you will have a series of measurements taken of your body (think height, mass, leg length, arch height etc.). This allows us to get an accurate representation of the size of your body. The strength and length of each of your muscles will also be tested to allow us to identify any weaknesses or restrictions that may cause your body to move in a particular way.

The formal gait analysis occurs in two parts. Firstly, you will be recorded using standard 2D video so that we can describe your walking/running patterns, as well as demonstrate any deficiencies with footage that you can relate to.

Secondly, we will attach small reflective markers to specific points on your body and ask you to walk/run through our laboratory or perform a specific sporting movement.

This is repeated a number of times to account for variability, as well as also in shoes and orthotics if this is relevant. This appointment takes approximately one (1) hour.

SECOND APPOINTMENT

Due to the amount of information collected, a 3-D Gait data takes a number of hours to process (4 -5 hours per patient) and it is not possible to simply provide instantaneous results on the day, aside from the initial impressions from the 2D video and muscle length/strength tests.

We spend considerable time interpreting your results, requesting the opinion of other specialists and experts if required, so that we can provide you with tailored recommendations for future treatment.

At your follow-up appointment, you will get a fully detailed and customised report in both hard copy and electronic formats, as well as a copy of the video of your walking and/or running so you can share this information with your other therapists.

A copy of your report always gets passed onto all relevant parties that would benefit from knowing this information. This appointment takes approx. 30 minutes.

I NEED A BIOMECHANICAL ANALYSIS – WHAT IS MY NEXT STEP?

Your next step is to book your assessment at one of our clinics.