Gait Assessment Glossary

If you’ve completed a 3D running assessment, you’ve received a report with more than 40 points of data documenting your gait cycle. Use the glossary below to interpret the results. If you are new to understanding the gait cycle, check out the online resource Physiopedia.  
 
Adduction – The movement of a limb or other part toward the midline of the body or toward another part.  
 
Cadence – The number of steps per minute during a normal gait. The beat or timing of a particular rhythmic activity.
 
Dorsiflexion – The movement of the foot upwards, so the foot is closer to the shin. For a movement to be considered dorsiflexion, the foot should be raised upward between 10 and 30 degrees. Dorsiflexion uses the muscles in the front part (anterior) of the foot. Medical News Today  
Extension – An opening of a joint that start from any degree of flexion.  
 
External Rotation (ER) – Turning outwardly or away from the midline of the body.
 
Flexion – The bending of a limb or joint.  
 
Gait Cycle – Single sequence of functions by one limb. Begins when reference foot contacts on the ground. Ends with subsequent floor contact of the same foot. Divided into two phases: stance phase and swing phase.  
 
Internal Rotation (IR) – Turning inwardly or toward the midline of the body.  
 
Pelvic Drop – Occurs when the full body weight is being supported in one leg. FleetFeet
 
Foot Progression Angle – Defined as the line of progression averaged from heel strike to toe off during the stance phase. Toe-in angle is positive and toe-out angle is negative. Family Practice Notebook (scroll down to images)  
 
Valgus – Oblique displacement of part of a limb away from the midline.  
 
Varus – Oblique displacement of part of a limb toward the midline. 
 
Velocity – The speed of the runner’s gait.