What Is A Gait Analysis?

And why do I need one?

Most runners just run. It is a skill we instinctively have from an early age and it is thought to be something we do naturally.

Sounds good right? Problem is this is only partially true.

Yes, we have an instinctual ability to run in a fight or flight scenario. For millennia we’ve run from dangerous animals and even more dangerous humans. This running involved distances just necessary to hide or prepare to fight.¬†Quite unlikely you’d run 26.2 miles if being chased by an angry hippo.

Then the industrial revolution produced another major problem for us runners. It provided modern conveniences like the car and couch that have caused us to lose range of motion and strength necessary for running.

Put the new recreational long distances we now run combined with the lack of necessary range of motion and strength for running and what are you get?

Up to 75% of runners hurt every year.

So how preventable is this enormous amount of injuries annually in running?

Extremely. Why? Again, because innately we do have the ability to run, we just aren’t doing it right. If you want to do anything for a long period of time, especially repetitive movement, you must do it with excellent form. This applies to running possibly more than any other sport.

To eliminate the chance of running injury or to get ourselves out of an injury, we must rebuild our bodies for running, offsetting the adaptations from all of the modern conveniences while also learning how to run efficiently.

How in the heck do we do that?

Start with a comprehensive, clinician driven, running analysis.

We start with the primal movement of squatting. This is a normal, natural, healthy human movement that has been robbed from us by modern conveniences. But it’s easy to get back if you know where to focus your time through corrective exercise.

There is a correlation between the inability to squat and running injuries due to similar mobility and strength requirements from the legs.

Then we isolate your legs and have you do a specific single leg activity. This tells us if one side is the “problem child.” We look at specific single leg movement patterns that heavily predict the function of the leg during running.

Next, we look at your running motion from the side and the back. The side view tells us how much ground reaction force your body is choosing to take in. This is easily modifiable if your body is taking more ground reaction force that is necessary. How much force we take from the ground is a large predictor of running injury.

The back view it tells us how your muscles adapt to the chosen amount of force your body is taking. Improving your body’s ability to adapt so that the force is transmitted through the muscle > joints and ligaments is a huge preventative as well as healing measure for running injuries.

Following an individualized, detailed analysis of your videos, we produce a specific written that addresses your knees which can include:

  1. Improve range of motion where limited from the feet, ankles, knees, hips and spine
  2. Improve muscle strength to allow the body to accept necessary ground reaction forces associated with running
  3. Teach the body to accept only necessary ground reaction forces and not more
  4. Teach running form drills that improve efficiency and reduce injury

There is no reason to delay. No matter your level of running, from beginner to expert, if a skilled running form expert has not analyzed where you are wasting energy or overusing certain muscles, you can run better now!

Here’s to a healthy, safe, efficient running!

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