Gait Scan Analysis System

By: Michael Hofstatter, Physiotherapist May 01, 2014

What is the Gait Scan Analysis System?

Tools used in Chiropractic care

The GaitScan™ system is one of the most advanced and sophisticated gait analysis tools available today. This technology enables the doctors to provide you with a rapid and accurate assessment of the biomechanical function of your feet in BOTH the standing position and while you are walking. This allows us to see your feet while they are in action, to better determine when and where abnormal forces are being imposed onto your bottom block. Although orthotics casted in a neutral, non-weight bearing position (using a foam or plaster cast) are still used extensively, they do not provide the level of accuracy and customization that the GaitScan™ system provides. Determining the weight distribution in the standing position and measuring pressure distribution of the feet during the act of walking, aids us in the diagnosis of problems of your foot and the kinetic chain. This information is then used to produce an orthotic device that is custom made to help correct your underlying foot/gait dysfunction.

How Does It Work?

The patient first stands on a pressure sensitive plate that is connected to a computer. This analyzes the static pressure (weight) distribution of the feet. The result of the analysis highlights areas of high pressure on the feet and may help to explain sore points. The next stage involved the patient walking normally over the plate to obtain a dynamic visualization of the pressure distribution. It identifies movement of the patient’s center of gravity and the relative times spent at each part of the
gait cycle.

As the patient walks (or runs) across the GaitScan™ pressure plate, thousands of tiny sensors (4 per cm2 ) scan
the plantar surface of the patient’s foot. During the scan, the system records timing sequences during gait and captures
the relative pressure load of each area of the foot (Medial Heel, Lateral Heel, Mid-Foot, Metatarsals 1-5, the Hallux and the Toes 2-5).

The pressure distribution and the manner in which this distribution changes can identify whether the patient is either over pronating or supinating. Either of these can lead not only to problems in the feet themselves but also influence the way in which the lower limb and the whole spine responds to this movement pattern. From the patient’s step, the computer maps various visual representations of the scan. The GaitScan™ gives us the ability to look at the plantar pressures of your foot in either 2-D or 3-D. You can actually view and compare your right foot from your left foot in a synchronized mode. This 2-D and synchronized analysis also allows us to see the center of pressure or “gait line” of your foot during the entire step. The system also has the ability to compare your scan to a foot with ideal mechanics.

Elite Physio - Mississauga’s principal and lead therapist, Michael grew up only minutes from where the clinic is located and has returned back to the Mississauga area to once again make it his home. Michael completed his degree in Physiotherapy at the University of Manitoba and has since worked in several disciplines within the scope of physiotherapy, including private clinics, hospitals, home settings, and research. Michael has completed several continuing education courses which include Advanced Contemporary Medical Acupuncture, spinal manipulation, advanced muscle release, fascial release, joint mobilization, and sport specific treatment and exercise for golf, hockey, running and he is also trained in general strength and conditioning.

Michael also has training in assessing and treating pre- and post-surgical patients for the back, neck, shoulder, knee, ankle, as well as joint replacements for the hip and knee. Previous to this he was in the Canadian Armed Forces where he dedicated over 20 years of service, serving in Canada and Europe and overseas missions. Michael has treated both professional and amateur athletes and is an instructor in Contemporary Acupuncture at McMaster University and continues to upgrade his skills to ensure that his patients receive the best care possible. Michael has a strong sense of community and believes in a healthy balance between an active lifestyle, and proper nutrition and mental health.