What is a normal gait
The Gait pattern is the visual impression that the posture and movement of the extremities and trunk leaves on an observer while walking.
A normal gait is characterized by a harmonious and coordinated movement of the extremities with the trunk in a balanced position. It is based on the largely unrestricted functionality of the joints and muscles as well as on the regular movement initiation and coordination by the brain.
When walking, the body's center of gravity, which is at the level of the 2nd sacral vertebra, shifts forward as part of the rhythmic movement. The feet are placed periodically alternating on the floor. Phases in which only one foot touches the ground are called "monopedal". In contrast, phases in which both feet touch the ground are called "bipedal". The bipedal phases predominate in normal walking, monopedal phases in running.
Deviations from the normal gait pattern provide important information about neurological diseases and diseases of the musculoskeletal system. The clinical examination and assessment of the gait is called gait analysis. Pathological deviations are referred to as gait disorders or gait anomalies. One distinguishes
- neurological gait disorders,
- orthopedic gait disorders and
- psychogenic gait disorders.
Examples of gait disorders are the stepper gait, the Trendelenburg limp and the Wernicke-Mann gait pattern.
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