Firstly, our gait is how we walk or run. It describes the movement cycle from the start of one stride on one leg, right through to the start of the next stride on the same leg. Our gait cycle has a number of significant action points :
- Initial Contact (foot strike)
- Toe off
These can be broken down into smaller stages as seen in the image, but as a starting point the three stages above serve us well. At any given point in our gait cycle, our body is moving in a very complex manner. There is full integration from neck to feet, with lines of muscle, tendon, ligament and other fascial tissue all working together. A kink, injury, strength or misfiring issue in any of this interconnected structure can lead to forces being applied elsewhere in the chain. Because the other areas of fascia are not designed to handle the additional force, it can often lead to pain, injury and/or a loss of performance. The challenge in correcting
the parts that are not functioning is that every one of us is different. While there are common movement patterns that are seen as more efficient and ideal
, we don’t live in an ideal world. Our body is amazing at adapting to the forces we apply to it, sometimes just finding a way around an issue at that time. However, the body’s own workaround may have served us well at the moment it was needed, but longer term it can lead to all kinds of issues.