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Evansville Runners: Should You Have Your Gait Analyzed?

EVANSVILLE RUNNERS: Should you have your gait analyzed?

Why Utilize Running Analysis?

Running analysis can provide great insight to your movement habits and provide us with a good base of information. We can then use this information to supplement other findings in late stage rehab, program cross-training routines specific to you, or guide you in amping up performance.

What does a session for a runner look like?

When you sign up for a session as a runner, we go through a few things:

1. Discuss your history, current training, goals, lifestyle, etc. None of this works unless it fits into your day to day!

2. Assess your movement - how you move as a whole first, then broken down into specific areas.

3. Analyze gait with treadmill analysis - You’ll hop on the treadmill and get in your zone for a few minutes before we record video from all sides. While I can provide you with brief feedback initially, I can break this down in more detail when necessary after your session.

4. Last we’ll compile all of this information to prioritize focus areas and begin playing with exercises based off of that priority list. This allows us to begin working on strength, coordination, and mobility in areas that are challenging and will be most beneficial for improving your performance as a runner.

What do you look at as a part of treadmill running analysis?

We’ll look at a number of things from 3 views: front, side, and rear. We’ll look at cadence, bounce, foot strike, trunk angle, joint angles throughout the lower extremities, arm swing, spinal position - the list can go on.

Will running analysis change my gait?

I often tell my runners that treadmill analysis is definitely not a must and in some cases it may not even be the best use of our time. While there ARE subtle things you can do with running gait to decrease stress in certain areas, if we focus too much on your gait without improving strength, coordination, or mobility - your body will find ways to cheat! Too much focus on changing gait can cause new injury and leave you feeling frustrated and out of sync. Ultimately, the goal is to primarily be focused on what exercise and cross training will best supplement your running. Over time, this will lead to subtle changes in your gait without being overly focused on it.

So if that’s the case, why would you spend the time analyzing gait? As mentioned before, it’s a piece to the puzzle and helps us create a priority list. If we find several weaknesses in an exam, but one stands out in your gait - it goes to the top of the list! This then saves you time and keeps you focusing on areas that are most important.

My personal experience with running analysis.

Years ago as a PT student, I had the pleasure of going through running specific testing with a mentor on a clinical site (check out The Runner’s Mechanic!). I did not have any injuries - only soaking in learning and who wouldn’t take free advice to benefit performance in the activities they love? We went through a solid and in depth assessment and she shared a few key areas with me to include as a focus in my strength training. Years later, this has still been a beneficial component to my training, and I can tell when I slack off! You do not need to be injured to be assessed - assessment can guide your training to keep you healthy AND at top speed.

Can I work on exercises independently?

We offer remote exercise programming for clients that have been assessed and are appropriate for remote training. Ask for more detail to see if this may be fitting for you!

Want to improve your running? This is our bread and butter and we want to keep you out there doing what you love for the long term. Our sessions are in depth and very different from a traditional PT office. Message us for free consult and we can chat about what options are best for you!

Thanks for reading!

Dr. Sarah

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