During normal walking, repetitive impulsive forces are introduced into the musculo-skeletal system. At heelstrike, there is a sharp irregularity in the ground reaction force, known as the heelstrike transient. As a result of experimental evidence indicating possible correlations between impulse loading and joint degeneration, research interest in heelstrike transients has intensified. This paper outlines the nature of the heelstrike transient and the use of accelerometers and force platforms for skeletal transient investigation. Attention is given to two experiments that analysed the response of the human body to the impact forces experienced during walking. The possible causative links between excessive impulsive loading and the progression of two pathological conditions-osteoarthritis and low back pain, respectively-are discussed in detail.