The Science Behind the NewGait
HOW IT WORKS
The separate components of the NewGait work in unison to assist and promote proper locomotion during each phase of the gait cycle.
Phase 1: Initial Contact. This refers to initial contact of the lead foot. The heel should contact the ground first. The tibialis anterior is responsible for dorsiflexing the foot to ensure heel strike. For those with foot drop, the NewGait lower leg device assists the tibialis anterior in accomplishing heel strike.
Phase 2: Loading Response. In this phase, weight is transferred from the back leg to the front leg. The quadriceps and abductor muscles stabilize the pelvis as it is loaded. The NewGait waist belt and upper leg device assist in stabilizing the pelvis.
Phase 3: Mid-Stance. The leg is fully loaded and there is only single limb support. Balance is key. The upper and lower leg muscles work together to bring stability and balance to the body. The NewGait components compress the ankle and hip joints to improve proprioceptive feedback and stability. In addition the upper leg device assists the quad in preventing recurvatum of the knee.
Phase 4: Terminal Stance. There still is only single limb support for half of this phase, so balance is crucial. Push off of the foot is initiated by the gastrocnemius/soleus and the hamstring during this phase. The NewGait aids in push-off to drive gait forward.
Phase 5: Pre-Swing. Push off is completed in this phase. The gastrocnemius/soleus and hamstring continue to work together to drive the leg into swing phase. The NewGait assistance bands are stretched during this phase and loaded for next phase.
Phase 6: Mid-Swing. The hip flexes and the ankle dorsiflexes in order to clear the foot and swing it through. The loaded assistance bands shorten to assist with both of these actions.
Phase 7: Terminal Swing. Hip flexion and ankle dorsiflexors continue to swing the leg through and ensure that the heel strike occurs at the end of this phase. A co-contraction of the quad and hamstring stabilize the knee. The NewGait assists with the co-contraction and prevents circumduction and recurvatum of the leg.