A normal walking gait pattern is dependent on numerous important biomechanical features which are known as the determinants of gait. The six determinants of gait had been first described by Saunders et al in 1953, and have been widely embraced with some modifications as well as minor problems. All the determinants of gait are considered necessary as they assure a much more economical gait by the decreasing the vertical centre of mass movement which leads to a reduction in the metabolic energy essential for motion. The rationale underpinning this is that a improved management of these determinants of gait results in a rise in power conservation and more efficient movement. This model which does underpin these types of determinants of gait are in conflict with the ‘inverted pendulum’ principle that views the static stance leg acts as a pendulum which follows an arc. The biomechanics area continues to debate the worthiness of the two concepts.
The 6 determinants of gait and the way they have an effect on the centre of mass (COM) movement and energy efficiency are:
1. Pelvic rotation: The pelvis swivels side to side during normal walking to help with the progression of the opposite side by means of lowered hip flexion and extension. This affects the lowering of metabolic energy and the improved energy conservation by reducing the vertical center of mass displacement.
2. Pelvic tilt: In the course of typical gait there is a tilting with the swing period aspect of the pelvis that is handled by the hip abductor muscles. The muscle activity reduces the raising of the center of mass during the changeover from hip flexion to extension. This can lower the use of metabolic energy and increase energy conservation by lessening vertical COM movements.
3. Knee joint flexion throughout stance phase: The knee joint is extended at heel contact after which starts to flex when the foot is on the ground. The knee joint flexion will lower the pinnacle of the up and down trajectory with the center of mass leading to some energy preservation.
4. Motion at the foot and ankle: The ankle rockers at heel contact and mid-stance brings about a decrease in COM movement via the shortening of the lower leg are likely involved by reduction of the COM up and down displacement.
5. Knee movement: The motion of the knee joint is related to the ones from the ankle and foot movements and ends up with the lowering of the center of mass vertical motion which leads to reductions in that center of mass displacement and energy cost.
6. Lateral displacement with the body: this lateral movement with the pelvis or a relative adduction with the hip joint is mediated by the effect of the tibiofemoral angle and also relative adduction of the hip to reduce up and down center of mass movement. It's deemed that this determinant plays an important part in ensuring the proficiency in normal walking.
These six determinants of gait are pragmatically interesting since they allow us to give attention to certain key factors to help keep the COM motion from to much vertical movement to increase the efficiency of gait. Nonetheless, some recent research queries whether all or most of the determinants really are that important in the overall system of the events which happen throughout the gait cycle. Despite that considering these kinds of determinants is fundamental in being familiar with walking disability.