An individual’s gait is defined as his or her method of walking. Walking is one of the basic motor functions of the human body. There is actually a lot of study that goes into the technique and mechanics of walking even though we may assume that walking is something absolutely simple and uncomplicated. The gait of an individual can say a lot about the ability of the individual to run.
Gait analysis is also of great importance when it comes to athletics and sporting injuries. Those with an awkward gait are usually susceptible to injury much more regularly than those with a normal, balanced gait.
The gait test is used for the analysis of several different aspects related to the walk of an individual. A gait test is one where the patient is made to walk on a specific path. During this walk, the doctor analyzes the movement of the legs and the way in which the individual places pressure and moves forward. These analysis are of great importance when understanding the mechanics of walking. This medical test is also used to determine the ability of the individual to coordinate his or her motor movements.
A tandem gait test is one where the individual has to walk heel to toe. This means that the front foot has to be placed such that its heel touches to the toe of the standing foot. This is repeated alternatively between both feet. Individuals with problems in coordinating their motor movements may not successfully pass a tandem gait test. A tandem gait test is also sometimes ordered by law enforcement authorities to determine if an individual is intoxicated or not.
The Tinetti gait test is used for elderly individuals. As people age, they tend to lose their absolute control over mobility and the precision of their mobility. This loss of control varies from individual to individual. This may explain why some people tend to fall or have walking related accidents. The Tinetti gait test is also used to establish parameters related to the balance of the individual. People with balance problems may not be able to perform some of the required actions of the Tinetti gait test.
Gait testing usually takes place in a clinical setting. In some cases, the gait analysis may need to be conducted using video equipment. An experienced doctor will be able to notice problems during the gait test fairly quickly enabling the diagnosis of the condition and its solutions.