Biomechanical Analysis of Walking
July 6, 2022
If you’ve ever watched people walking while sitting at an airport, you’re amazed at the diversity of motion. Some limping, some bent forward, some tipping to one side, some taking baby steps, and every now and then, someone looks normal. Many have braces, some have canes, but everyone is totally unique.
Walking is a combination of movements that allows a person to propel themselves forward. In order to do that, one has to recruit many body parts to act in unison for any success at all. Today’s biomechanics specialists, running store workers and therapists attempt to do gait analysis to determine what’s not working correctly.
Weak “this” and overworking “that” is usually the conclusion. Work on your flexibility and strengthen certain muscles is usually the recommendation. Unfortunately, all of these recommendations are insignificant at best and outright wrong at worst. Let me explain.
When a gait analysis is done, the evaluation of an individual in motion, generally walking or running and evaluated from behind, the assumption is that all people are symmetrical. Left and right are perfectly balanced. Nothing could be further from the truth. No one is symmetrical. Research has shown all people have mild to severe asymmetries in their musculoskeletal systems, abnormalities that no one in our healthcare system ever looks for using the appropriate technology. So, with these asymmetries (mild to severe), gait analyses are still done in an effort to identify imbalances and reduce injuries. Unfortunately, they fail hugely in their effort because they don’t identify the true asymmetry(s).
The conclusions that are drawn on gait analyses are actually the results of the adaptation of the musculoskeletal system to the underlying biomechanical faults that no one has ever found. Some muscles restrict more compared to their counterparts due to the imbalance in weight distribution and I describe gait analyses as a bag of biomechanical sins in motion. It is totally impossible to draw meaningful conclusions if a gait analysis is done prior to having a Structural Fingerprint® Exam performed and making corrections to these imbalances.
Therefore, without a static biomechanical exam (and The Structural Fingerprint® Exam is the only one available today), it is impossible to assess gait imbalances. And static biomechanical evaluations are the only way to truly identify these imbalances.