A gait analysis is a session where we analyze your strength, flexibility, running form and gait, along with history of previous running injuries to appropriately assess where your strengths and weaknesses pertaining to your running performance. We are able to recognize where your running faults are and where you may be prone to injury. We offer exercises and suggestions on how to can change your form, your gear, and your training to make you a healthier runner.
How are we different from shoe store gait analyses
Whereas running shoe stores tend to only watch your feet as you run to fit you in the appropriate shoes, our Running Gait Analysis is far more complex and hollistic as we watch how your entire body moves and performs on the treadmill. Our professionally trained physical therapists have had extensive experience in detecting running faults. Watching your run on our gait analysis, in addition to a thorough musculoskeletal evaluation, will give us strong clues as to why you have knee pain or foot pain. Our goal in each of these running gait assessments is to not only get to cause of your issues, but also to prevent other injuries from cropping up in the future.
Our equipment and our process
Unlike other PT clinics that use less sophisticated camera equipment (like the Ipad), we utilize stand-alone digital cameras to record your run from multiple angles. This data is fed through firewire into our computer Video Gait Analysis software where we can slow down the filmroll to 62.5 msec intervals. We then allow for time to explain to the patient what we see with each stride and step. By utilizing patient-friendly software from ZFlo Motion, we are able to show through diagrams and previously sampled videos how the patient is running. The software is also able to pull from its existing database appropriate shoes for the patient according to their analysis.
Common running faults found on video gait analysis and associated injuries
- Late resupination of the foot: although some degree of pronation is normal and healthy, late resupination of the foot hints to a lack of control of the foot. Mechanics associates with this are plantar fasciitis, knee pain, shin splints.
- Lateral whipping of the foot: Lateral whipping usually occurs in the swing phase of gait and is usually associated with tight calves and tight ankles. The danger in this is over-utilization of the hamstrings, thereby causing hamstring strains.
- Excessive vertical displacement: This hints to a waste of running energy. The excessive energy expenditure in moving you up and down could better be harnessed to moving you forward – stretch those calves!
- Hip drop: this is a big hint that your glutes, hips and core is not strong enough to keep your trunk and pelvis stable. Unfortunately this can mean knee pain and low back pain for the runner.
- Excessive ankle dorsiflexion and shin forward-collapse: covered previously in my achilles tendinitis article, this kind of chronic behavior causes excessive strain on the achilles tendon.
…. and the list goes on …. so as you can see, we can tell a lot from watching you run. Don’t be shy, come in today and start your road to healthier running with Stride Strong Gait Analysis
By Alice Holland, DPT.
Alice’s Google + page.
Doctor of Physical Therapy, Director at Stride Strong Physical Therapy