Introduction to the study of human walking

·         Basics of gait terminology

·         Functional features of a locomotion pattern

·         Approaches to the study of gait

·         Kinematics of gait

·         Kinetics of gait

·         Energy and power analyses of gait

·         Learning objectives

·         Tentative schedule of lectures and laboratory experiences for Spring 2002

·         Laboratory activities:

·         Assessing and retraining proximal movement during walking

·         Orthotic management of structural foot deformities

·         Observational gait analysis

·         Stride analysis

·         Retraining of disordered gait

·         Summary of joint motion and muscle activity during the gait cycle

·         Internet resources for the study of gait

Basics of gait terminology

We define parts (or "phases") of the gait cycle using conventions popularized by the Pathokinesiology Laboratory at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital (RLAH) in Downey,CA.

One complete gait cycle is measured in percentages:

·         where one limb's initial contact with the ground is designated as 0 percent

·         and that limb's next initial contact is designated as 100 percent.

·         If a person's pattern is symmetrical, initial contact of the opposite limb occurs at 50 percent.

RLAH (or "Rancho") terminology divides the gait cycle into stance and swing phases:

·         Stance phase accounts for 60 percent of gait cycle, and includes:

1.      loading response

2.      midstance

3.      terminal stance

4.      preswing

·         Swing phase accounts for 40 percent of gait cycle, and includes:

1.      initial swing

2.      midswing

3.      terminal swing

Each gait cycle includes

·         two periods of single limb support

·         two periods of double limb support (each accounting for about 10% of the cycle)

1.      loading response from 0 to 10 percent

2.      preswing from 50 to 60 percent

By definition, when one limb is in loading response, the other limb is in preswing.

Functional features of a locomotion pattern

1.      Stability

·         Against gravitational forces

·         Against inertial forces

2.      Propulsion (Adding energy to system)

3.      Efficiency (Minimizing energy expenditure)

·         minimizing changes in kinetic energy

·         "shock absorption"

·         prevention of "repetitive injury"

·         minimizing changes in potential energy

Last updated 3-19-02 ©Dave Thompson PT