Running gait analysis is something we offer at ProActive Therapies. Chances are, that most people reading this will fall into one of three camps when it comes to their knowledge of gait analysis and what it entails.
- Never heard of it and no idea what it means
- Heard of it and thinks it looks at the lower leg only, commonly offered in running shoe stores with the end product of selling you new shoes
- Knows there is a lot more to running gait analysis than some people think
If you’re in group one or two, read on to find out why those in group 3 are correct, and how having your running gait assessed can help you.
What is Running Gait Analysis?
To break it down, your gait is the way you walk or run. Basically how you get from A to B. During running gait analysis, a qualified professional will observe you running. With your permission, the professional will also usually video you, in order for them to slow down and freeze frame your gait cycle to help them see more clearly what is happening.
Running gait analysis can be performed on a treadmill, or on the road. It is best to observe you running on the surface you most commonly run on.
Analysis looks at the whole body from head to toe and from at least three angles. You may think that a pain in your knee would have nothing to do with the movement of your arms whilst you run, but you’d may be wrong. The body moves as a whole, as a chain of movement where movement in one region carries over into the next. In addition, the body is very clever and will adapt to cope with an issue in one area, by compensating for it in another. For this reason, the area that finally gives and develops pain, is often not the root cause of the issue.
How Can Running Gait Analysis Help Me?
If you are a runner, new or an old pro, running gait analysis can be beneficial in a number of ways.
- To prevent injuries
Running places a lot of strain on the body, with the repetitive loading of the lower limb. Certain less desirable motions (such as unwanted rotation) will place additional strain on the body which can lead to injury. If such movement patterns are identified, then actions can be taken to limit them. Actions may include gait retraining or muscle group strengthening to name just a couple.
- To treat an injury
If you are already suffering from an injury, then gait analysis can be used to assess why this has occurred. Whilst there are many factors which come into play when an injury occurs, gait patterns are often a large part of them in running injuries.
- To improve performance
Running gait analysis can help you to improve your speed or endurance to beat that all important PB. It can identify weak areas which require strengthening and identify ways to make your gait cycle more efficient.
What Happens After an Analysis?
Once your video has been analysed, you will receive feedback in the form of a report with the findings. Included in the report are details on ways you can improve your gait and how each improvement will benefit you, depending on your specific needs. If necessary, a full exercise program will be included.
If you are interested in having a gait analysis, or have any further questions, please contact Heidi on 01603578188 / 07922923496 or firstname.lastname@example.org