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how we use 3D gait analysis in patient treatment

How we use 3d gait analysis data for your treatment

How we use 3D Gait Data

At The Biomechanics Lab, our vision is to facilitate your path to better health so you can reach your full potential. To help us do that, we used 3D Biomechanics technology to inform all the decisions we make. 3D Gait Analysis is non-invasive assessment of how you walk, run or jump. By performing an analysis, we obtain a great deal of kinematic and kinetic data about you.

However, all the data in the world is useless if you can’t use it in the right way.

How do we use 3D gait data to inform your management?

At The Biomechanics lab, we use 3D biomechanics to inform our treatment. What we mean is that we use the gait data as the basis for our treatment prescription.

When we have the level of information that we can obtain from performing a 3D gait analysis, we really have all the information we need to be able to make an informed decision in the best interests of our patients. There are four key ways in which we use 3D Biomechanical data to inform the management of our patients.

There are four key ways in which we use 3D Biomechanical data to inform the management of our patients. By no means is this list complete and any of our podiatrists, physios or biomechanists are happy to speak to you about any of your needs.

4 Ways to Use Biomechanical Data

  1. Using 3D gait analysis to design strength and conditioning programs

The information we collect in a 3D gait analysis allows us to better select exercises to improve functional control of movement and to prescribe load to increase muscle strength. With these results we can help patients strengthen specific muscles. We can increase quadricep strength for patients who have hip/knee arthritis or anterior knee pain, strengthen the tibialis posterior muscle in patients who have flat feet and increase peroneal muscle strength in patients who have lateral ankle stability or high arch feet.

In addition to designing strength and conditioning programs, we can test a patient at baseline or the commencement of treatment and then re-test them after the initial treatment phase (often at 12 weeks). This allows us to monitor progress overtime and ensures we are achieving the functional outcomes with treatment that were intended.


  1. Using 3D gait analysis to prescribe footwear

Based on research and working with global footwear manufacturers, we know footwear can have a large impact on the function of the foot and ankle when we walk, for example: Changing the materials of the midsole to improve comfort and using specific forefoot designs to improve function in patients with reduced joint motion.

Based on our experience working in footwear design, we have also developed analytical processes to understand how the foot moves inside the shoe. This relies on holes cut in the shoe upper to allow gait analysis markers to be applied directly on the skin surface through the shoe upper. Although this can’t be done in your own shoes, we have a range of lab shoes that allow us to better appreciate the function of the foot when wearing shoes. This is important when considering the need for/quantifying how foot orthotics work.


  1. Using 3D gait analysis to design custom orthotics

Custom foot orthotics are often used by podiatrists to improve pain and restore function in patients with complex foot and ankle injuries. They have also been shown to be effective in improving symptoms associated with knee and hip arthritis, anterior knee pain and low back pain.

We take a 3D scan that captures the unique geometry of your foot, and we can then use design modifications to influence the function of the foot. Standard analyses cannot measure force, so without 3D gait data there is no way to precisely understand what forces are applied to the foot/leg. With the use of 3D gait analysis, we can measure the exact forces applied to your body. Once we have a clear picture of the forces applied to the body, we can use orthotic design principles to target and manipulate the forces applied to the body.


  1. Using 3D gait analysis to design appropriate foot & ankle surgery

Where possible we provide our patients with all the possible conservative options viable to them. In some situations we identify in the gait analysis that there is no function or control of a particular joint(s) and despite any best efforts in strength and conditioning or foot and orthotic prescription, the function the foot is unlikely to improve without surgery. In this case, we work with our team of surgeons to develop the most appropriate procedure for you. We can use the gait data as a baseline measurement to compare in the rehab phase that occurs post-operatively. We also work with a lot of patients who see us as an initial patient after they have had surgery or had a complex traumatic event where surgery may not be possible or indicated.


Using 3D Gait Analysis to design Strength and Conditioning Programs 

The information we collect during a 3D gait analysis that relates to the range of motion of a joint and the velocity of movement, allows us to better select exercises. This is to help improve functional control of movement and to prescribe load and increase muscle strength. We also obtain additional information as to the control of our joints through the...

What is 3D Gait Analysis?

3D Gait analysis is state-of-the art technology that accurately describes how people walk, run or jump in three-dimensions. This is then often combined with force platform technology to give a complete description of an individuals biomechanics.  The whole process is based on high-end science in the field of Biomechanics.