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The Feet and the Gait Cycle

Monday, 10 June 2019 00:00

Walking is a task that occurs subconsciously for most people. However, the gait cycle, or the manner in which one walks, is a complex process. The gait cycle includes the nervous, musculoskeletal, and cardio-respiratory systems. Any dysfunction with the foot or ankle can disrupt this entire process. It is vital to understand the basic components of the gait cycle in order to know if your foot or ankle issue is causing complications. One part of the gait cycle is the various stances. The first form of contact that your foot has with the ground is the heel strike. This is when the ankle is in a neutral position. The next stance is when the foot is completely flat and the ankle is flexed. During mid-stance, when the body begins to move over the foot, the ankle begins to flex in the opposite direction. The fourth stance occurs when the heel lifts off of the ground. The final stance is when the toes leave the ground. If you have any foot or ankle complications, such as flat feet, calluses or hammertoes, the gait cycle may be disrupted. Considering how often most people walk, it is vital to discover any issues in this process as early as possible. It is suggested to consult with a podiatrist if you experience any issues while walking.

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from PA Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Pennsylvania. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about The Importance of Biomechanics in Podiatry