Date: 25 Feb 2010

Clinical Gait Evaluation of the Athlete

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Abstract

How an athlete walks and runs is a key element to the functional capacity of their chosen sport. Being able to fully evaluate these motions can give practitioners a tremendous amount of information in aiding athletic patients. Running and walking mechanics were first recorded using filming techniques in the 1800s [1]. Over the last 40 years, gait analysis techniques have evolved from 2D to full 3D kinematic studies. Ground reaction forces have evolved from force plate analysis to include in-shoe pressure systems. The combination of 3-dimensional (3D) kinematic data and ground reaction forces has led to the potential for specific joint force calculations through kinetics, and now joint coupling techniques to understand how one joint potentially affects another [2, 3].