Bipedal walking is an important characteristic of humans. Gait is the manner, pattern or style of walking. The entire body moves during walking. A faulty movement or pattern in any segment of the body can have an effect on the gait pattern. The gait cycle is composed of the stance phase (60% of gait) when the foot is in contact with the ground from the heel strike to the toe-off of the same foot, and the swing phase (40% of gait) when the foot is not in contact with the ground, which is the normal weight bearing phase of gait. Proper body movement and timing are essential to normal gait. Physical Therapists are looking at symmetry of arm swings, stride length, weight shifting of hips, movement of the trunk and foot alignment, as well as other areas to fully assess the cause of a patient’s dysfunction.

Some of the abnormalities seen at the clinic which affect how a person walks are:

  • Forward flexed trunk position due to decreased spine mobility (spinal stenosis).
  • Trendelenburg gait due to weakness of hip abductor muscles causing the hip to drop towards the same side of the leg swinging forward.
  • Hip extensor weakness causes patient to compensate with an increased posterior trunk position to maintain alignment of pelvis in relation to trunk.
  • Quadriceps weakness or instability at the knee joint will cause the person to hyperextend the knee for stability.
  • Tight calf muscles will result in a compensated gait of toe walking.
  • Hallux rigidus results is a lack of big toe dorsiflexion, which will affect the gait pattern.
  • Leg length discrepancy can be a result of a pelvic asymmetry, or an uneven bone length of the tibia/shin or femur/thigh. This will cause an asymmetrical gait pattern of a pelvic dip or toe walk.
  • Get your groove back at NJPTA by letting us assess your gait.

NJPTA’s Kathryn Haskins Now Board Certified as Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS)

Kathryn Haskins, PT, DPT, OCS, CMTPT

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) represents more than 80,000 members throughout the United States, and established the specialist certification program in 1978. The specialist certification program was created to provide formal recognition for physical therapists with advanced clinical knowledge, experience, and skills in a special area of practice, and to assist consumers and the health care community in identifying these physical therapists.

The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) coordinates and oversees the specialist certification process. One such designation, received by North Jersey Physical Therapy Association’s (NJPTA’s) Kathryn Haskins, is the Orthopedic Clinical Specialist certification. It is important to note that as of June 2014, according to ABPTS, only about 10% of PTs in the U.S. are certified as Orthopedic Clinical Specialists.

As an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS), PTs strengthen their knowledge in the following body regions:

  • Cranial/Mandibular
  • Spine: Cervical
  • Spine: Thoracic spine/ribs
  • Spine: Lumbar
  • Upper Extremity: Shoulder/shoulder girdle
  • Upper Extremity: Arm/elbow
  • Upper Extremity: Wrist/hand
  • Pelvic Girdle/Sacroiliac/Coccyx/Abdomen
  • Lower Extremity: Hip
  • Lower Extremity: Thigh/knee
  • Lower Extremity: Leg/ankle/foot

Additionally, OCSs have increased their orthopedic practice dimensions in the following areas:

  • Examination
  • Evaluation
  • Diagnosis
  • Prognosis
  • Intervention
  • Outcomes

More focus and study is placed on knowledge areas and procedures that orthopedic clinical specialists use in their work, which are as follows:

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Movement Science
  • Pathophysiology
  • Orthopedic Medicine/Surgical Intervention
  • Evidence Based Orthopedic Theory and Practice
  • Critical Inquiry/Evidence Based Practice
  • Examination
  • Procedural Intervention

NJPTA’s Kathryn Haskins has her doctorate in Physical Therapy, is certified in Dry Needling, and now in Orthopedic Clinical Specialty. These unique credentials enable her to provide the upmost in services for those suffering from conditions that may include, but are not limited to sports injuries and spinal disorders, in addition to pre- and post-orthopedic surgeries. By using dry needling, myofascial release, neuromuscular reeducation, manual therapy techniques and laser as well as key exercises, Kathryn and NJPTA are dedicated to bringing patients sustained pain relief and pain-free function.

To schedule an appointment with Kathryn or our other well-qualified PTs, please Contact Us.