What determines how we walk?

A normal walking gait pattern will depend on several important biomechanical characteristics that are referred to as the determinants of gait. These 6 determinants of gait had been initially published by Saunders in 1953, and have been broadly accepted with many changes and also small problems. The determinants of gait are considered significant as they assure a much more efficient gait by the decreasing the vertical centre of mass movements leading to a decrease in the metabolic energy needed for motion. The rationale underpinning this is that the improved management of these kinds of determinants of gait contributes to a rise in power preservation and more efficient motion. This concept that does underpin these types of determinants of gait are typically in conflict with the ‘inverted pendulum’ principle which views the static stance leg being like a pendulum which follows an arc. The biomechanics community will continue to debate the merit of these two concepts.

The 6 determinants of gait and the way they affect the centre of mass (COM) displacement and energy conservation are:

1. Pelvic rotation: The pelvis swivels side to side in the course of normal gait to assist in the progression of the opposite side through lowered hip flexion and extension. This affects the lowering of metabolic energy along with the improved energy conservation by lessening the vertical center of mass movement.

2. Pelvic tilt: In the course of normal gait there's a dipping of the swing phase aspect of the pelvis that is governed by the hip abductor muscle group. This muscle action reduces the raising of the COM through the transition from hip flexion to extension. This would decrease the use of metabolic energy while increasing energy conservation by lessening up and down center of mass movements.

3. Knee flexion throughout stance phase: The knee is extended at heel strike and then starts to flex when the foot is on the floor. This knee joint flexion will reduce the pinnacle of the up and down trajectory of the center of mass leading to some energy preservation.

4. Motion in the foot and ankle: The ankle joint rockers at heel strike and mid-stance results in a reduction in COM displacement through the shortening of the lower leg play a role by reduction of the COM up and down displacement.

5. Knee movement: The motion of the knee is related to those of the ankle and foot motions and results in the reduction of the COM vertical motion which results in reductions in that center of mass displacement and energy cost.

6. Lateral displacement with the body: the lateral movement with the pelvis or a relative adduction of the hip joint is mediated through the effect of the tibiofemoral angle as well as relative adduction of the hip to decrease up and down center of mass displacement. It is thought to be that this particular characteristic has a critical part in ensuring the efficacy in normal gait.

All six of these determinants of gait are logically interesting because they help us give attention to some key factors to hold the center of mass motion flat and improve the efficiency of gait. On the other hand, some current analysis queries whether all or a number of the determinants are actually that crucial in the overall plan of the functions which occur throughout the gait cycle. Even though contemplating these determinants is key in figuring out gait disability.