Postural analysis is the visual assessment of the musculoskeletal system with the aim of assessing structural bony landmarks. The assessment should always be performed as a component of the physical examination.
When observing the musculoskeletal system, the comparison of the symmetry of bony landmarks in context with evidence of muscle tightness or weakness will aid a practitioner in the conclusion of a potential diagnosis.
The postural analysis is almost always performed during the initial consultations and recorded using a diagrammatic representation of findings. This can then be repeated at subsequent consultations as a quick re-assessment tool.
Gait analysis is another powerful investigative tool which is clustered with postural analysis, patient examination and history to help assess and diagnose musculoskeletal disorders.
Gait refers to the manner in which a person walks. Normally, walking is a very efficient biomechanical process which requires little use of energy. Injury and pathology often result in a significant decrease in the ease and efficiency of walking. This may then result in the development of compensatory walking strategies which can cause tightness of some muscles and weakness of others.
When dealing with athletes, understanding their structure and movement can help optimise performance through a detailed customised rehabilitation plan to further improve athletic performance.
Identifying asymmetries during a postural or gait analysis in an un-symptomatic patient might prevent an injury from occurring if identified earlier in the piece and addressed accordingly.
If you have any questions about postural or gait analysis please get in touch or ask us during your next consultation.