Gait Analysis: Why Is It Important?
Updated: Apr 27
Walking the proper way is a necessary aspect in preventing and resolving lower back and leg issues/pain. But for EDS/HSD patients, and other people, this can be hard to implement. Especially since walking is something that many people don’t put much thought into, it is easy for bad habits to be ingrained into our biomechanics.
For many, they can move out and about with abnormal or asymmetrical “gait patterns”, the pattern of movement of the limbs during motion, for years without symptoms. But for those with hypermobility, these abnormalities can be exacerbated, causing increased pain, dislocations, and wear and tear on the joints. Improper gait patterns can be unnoticeable to begin with, but when the problem goes untreated for a long period of time, it can result in abnormal walking, increased musculoskeletal problems, cardiovascular issues due to inactivity, and even mental health manifestations because of depression due to loss of independence.
These are the main reasons why gait analysis is important. Here at Actify, gait analysis is one of the first things Dr. Perretto does with our patients during a consultation. She has the patient walk back and forth several times, each time focusing on a different joint, making notes on your mechanics and possible asymmetrical or abnormal gait patterns. In addition, she looks at the patients center of force, step time, swing time, stride length, force, and weight distribution.
For EDS patients, we often have abnormal weight distribution and center of force, and there are many reasons for this, but the most common have to do with lack of proprioception, cervical-cranial instability, and hip misalignment - all things that can be improved in physical therapy! Of course, there are other, more rare reasons that may lead to gait abnormality in EDS/HSD patients, including neurological manifestations, such as dystonia and other tremors, that may cause clumsiness and poor coordination, it is more commonly due to joint and muscle mechanics.
Be sure to consult with your primary care physician or other medical professionals in regards to your medical concerns. This text cannot and should not replace advice from the patient's healthcare professionals. Any person who experiences unusual symptoms or feels that something may be wrong should seek individual professional help for evaluation and/or treatment.