Today I helped a high school athlete return to competing in a cross country meet and not only that, meet a personal best and without knee pain. In just 2 short sessions. Ok, so I know I’m bragging, but I was really proud of this accomplishment, which was 75% the effort of my patient and 25% me shoving them in the right direction. A key 25% achieved through a running gait analysis and customized exercise program with instruction in proper form and alignment with functional movements. I perform a running gait analysis on all of my clients that are runners. Running gait analysis is a skilled observation of running technique and form that is then compared to the main complaint to come to a biomechanical hypothesis as to why they are in pain and how they can improve their performance. Physical therapists are also trained to analyze walking gait. Running analysis is then used to guide instruction in appropriate running form to address the main complaints. Comprehensive testing of strength, movement patterns, balance, and neuromuscular control is also done to identify contributing factors to the inefficient pattern to achieve a well-rounded plan of attack. Though whether it be to relieve a sore knee or just improve performance, a running gait analysis should be the first step in helping a runner to achieve his or her goals. When instruction is given to reduce an inefficient technique and this is combined with a personalized exercise program you get happier, less stressed joints and possibly….. a personal best.
Want a free analysis? Attend our runners clinic this Wednesday, October 6th. Click on the events tab for more information.