What is Gait and how can I analyze mine?
Have you ever walked down the street carrying groceries? Perhaps a busy city sidewalk at midday? Or a crowded parking lot and you’re pushing a stroller or leaning on a cane? You’re doing just fine, it’s full daylight after all and you’re standing tall and holding tight as you can, but for just an instant you go a little … wobbly. Do you know that feeling? Yeah, we all do.
If you’re someone headed toward, or recovering from a joint replacement surgery; or even just somewhere in mid-life and you’ve got an old college ankle injury that never quite healed right, maybe those wobbly moments are even longer, or worse, lead to a tumble.
What you’re dealing with -- when you’re dealing with this -- is impaired gait.
Gait is the word we use to describe your “walk pattern”. Simply put, it’s just “the way you walk”. It’s not something most people think about most of the time. But when gait is impaired over a long period of time, you’ll definitely notice, and eventually, you’ll suffer.
Healthcare practitioners can tell a lot about you from your gait. They can tell if you’ve got knee or hip issues and a range of other muscular and skeletal issues for sure, but they can also sometimes tell if you’ve got neurological problems or emerging disease. Your gait is actually very important.
So, how can you tell if your gait is an A+ or barely passing? Well, wobbly feelings aside, you need to have your gait analyzed. There are three ways to get this done.
Type 1: Observational Gait Analysis
This type of analysis is done by a healthcare practitioner and is exactly what it sounds like, “observational”. When you walk, you move through two phases; a “swing phase” (when you lift and move your foot forward) and a “stance phase” (when your foot touches the ground). A qualified professional can diagnose a gait issue by observing you as you move between these two phases and paying attention to all kinds of “invisible to the untrained eye” factors such as step length, stride length, speed, trunk rotation, and arm swing.
Type 2: A Gait Analysis Laboratory
If you’ve got a more complex impairment (and decent health insurance, and access to a major metropolitan hospital, and a dynamite orthopedist) you’ll need to go to a gait lab. At the lab, you’ll walk up and down a track covered in body sensors which will draw data (along with 3D imaging) to try and understand your gait issue.
Type 3: OneStep Digital Gait Lab Analysis
OneStep is an app for your smartphone that does the same kind of analysis you’d get in a gait lab -- just using your phone. It’s actually really simple.
You just download the app and click the “analyze my walk” button and stick your phone in your pocket and take a short walk (30 seconds). OneStep will provide you with a “walk score” as well as a breakdown of your basic walk parameters (including step rate, stride length, and asymmetry). And here’s the most important fact about OneStep… it’s just as accurate as a state-of-the-art gait lab facility.
Curious to get your gait analyzed? Click here to fill out a form and we’ll be in touch! (Or click here to skip the concierge service and download the app right now).
Curious about the science behind OneStep? The engine behind OneStep is the smartphone. Smartphone sensors detect motion to the finest detail and are available to us 24/7. OneStep's technology is the first of its kind to leverage the smartphone’s capabilities to create a “mobile motion analysis lab”, bringing immediate, easy-to-understand, around-the-clock feedback directly to all of OneStep’s physical therapists and their patients.
All smartphones (including yours) contain accelerometers and gyro sensors that can analyze the phone’s movement in space. Using these sensors, we created a system that allows for tracking specific movements and translating this data into gait parameters. With an error rate of +/-3%, our analysis is highly accurate and allows our physical therapists to "see" you and treat you as if they were physically with you.
Click here to sign up and get a free gait analysis using only your smartphone now.