29 Nov Walking – The Gait Cycle
Walk this way!
For many, seeing a child take its first step often marks a large milestone in a child’s development. As the child continue to grow they will take many more steps without even thinking about how they are able to do this. Whilst it maybe something we take for granted it is something that can have a big effect on our body, so let’s take a look at the gait cycle
2 Phases: Stance phase and Swing phase
The whole cycle starts when one foot makes initial contact with the ground and ends when the same foot is just about to make new contact with the ground again. For the stages within the Phases there will be 2 alternative names the first being the traditional terminology and the latter being the new terminology:
Stance Phase: Heel strike / Initial contact
Starts when the heel first contacts the ground absorbing shock and adapting to the surface.
Stance Phase: Foot flat / Loading Response
When the entire foot contacts the floor and the opposite foot is in swing phase switching from stabiliser to lever.
Stance Phase: Mid stance / Mid stance
The foot is firmly on the ground and the body is above directly over the stance foot
Stance Phase: Heel Off / Terminal Stance
Final stage of contact during stance phase which acts to push the foot off the ground
Stance Phase: Toe Off / Pre Swing
Following the heel off, the rest of the foot and toes have just left the ground
Swing Phase: Early swing / Initial Swing
Hip begins to rise and knee remains bent as movement is accelerated
Swing Phase: Mid swing / Swing through
Bent knee now goes past opposite knee
Swing Phase: Late / Terminal Swing
Whilst hip is raised Knee is now fully straighten as movement is decelerated
So just in that one step there is a giant heap of activity.
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