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Gait retraining: out of the lab and onto the streets with the benefit of wearables
  1. Christopher Napier,
  2. Jean-Francois Esculier,
  3. Michael A Hunt
  1. Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Christopher Napier, Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z3, Canada; c.napier{at}alumni.ubc.ca

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Movement retraining can correct faulty movement patterns.1 However, as with any treatment, retraining needs to be activity specific—there are various types of ‘retraining’ and the treatment needs to match the movement fault.2 As experts at analysis and rehabilitation of movement, the concept of gait retraining fits well into a sport physiotherapist’s tool kit. The advent of readily accessible high-speed motion capture technology to assess and provide feedback on running patterns allows practitioners to incorporate gait retraining in their clinics. Furthermore, wearable technology makes it possible to measure many metrics ‘in the field’ that were previously only quantifiable in the lab. The purpose of this editorial is to discuss the potential of wearable technology to monitor and give feedback of gait outside of a lab and clinic setting.

Gait retraining inside and outside the lab

Traditionally, gait retraining using real-time biofeedback has been conducted in specialised lab settings with variable degrees of success depending on the targeted outcomes and the form of feedback.3 Sport physiotherapists have primarily applied it to treat injured runners, for instance, those with patellofemoral pain.1 4 …

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