Types of Gait Analysis

From elite athletes to patients with assistive walking devices, the study of how a person walks or runs generates great insights into the causes of pain, reasons for imbalance, and the progression or regression of disease. Protokinetics’ gait analysis system, Zeno Walkway mat and PKMAS software, provides researchers and clinicians with accurate gait and balance measurement to verify and validate interventions.

What are the Different Types of Gait Analysis?

The different types of gait analysis can be divided into observational and quantitative. Observational gait analysis is data gleaned by observing a patient; quantitative gait analysis is data collected electronically.

Observational Gait Analysis (OGA) – OGA typically uses a clinician’s observation, video slow-motion replay and/or freeze-frame techniques to record and analyze a patient’s gait. A clinician uses visual cues to compare asymmetries and find abnormalities. While using video is superior to unaided visual observation, OGA relies on the experience of the clinician and therefore is subject to bias and limited precision. An additional limitation of observational gait analysis is the difficulty in observing multiple events or multiple body segments at once. In fact, there is a tendency in observational gait analysis to focus almost entirely on the sagittal plane motion, disregarding the coronal and transverse plane events. This limitation can lead to misinterpretation.

Quantitative Gait Analysis uses instrumentation to quantify the gait cycle recording Temporal Spatial, Kinematic and Kinetic data that can’t be gathered by observation.

Temporal Spatial gait data is based on the timing and spacing of the foot strike and foot off gait events. These data can be used to compute velocity, cadence, stance and swing time, stride length, and a variety of additional important gait metrics.

Kinematics  is the study of the motion of the joints without regard for the forces responsible for the motion. Kinematic data describes the motion of the lower extremity joints throughout the gait cycle and is used extensively in the analysis of gait pathology. However, it does not provide details on biomechanical efficiency, joint torques, or ground reaction forces.

Kinetic data is the relationship between the factors that cause motion and the motion itself. Kinetics data includes measurements such as Center of Force (CoF), External Force, (GRF), and Center of Gravity (CoG). When kinematic and kinetic data are combined, the resultant joint forces can be calculated.

ProtoKinetics is the Leading Developer of Gait Analysis Systems

Our gait analysis systems are used in research, clinical trials, education, hospitals, sports medicine, and rehabilitation clinics.

Among our clients are Johns Hopkins Hospital, Mayo Clinic Rochester, Vanderbilt University, National Institutes on Aging, Food and Drug Administration, Boston Children’s Hospital, Providence Veterans Administration, San Diego Naval Research Center, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Columbia University, Northwestern Memorial Healthcare, University of Pittsburgh, University of Toronto, University of Southern California, Emory University, and many other healthcare organizations, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and research institutions.