A poor running gait can severally compromise your performance out on the field, court and pitch. At Next Level Physio, we offer in-depth running gait evaluations and gait therapy that can improve it and reduce strain on your feet and legs.
Why Is Your Running Gait Important?
Did you know that most running related injuries and nagging issues are a result of how you run? The funny thing is, when was the last time most people were taught how to run?
Many injured athletes will tell us- “I thought you just put on your running shoes and…run?”
Your running gait is not as simple as you make it out to be. It is actually made up of five phases (the breakdown below relates to a heel strike landing pattern:
- Stance i.e. the way your foot strikes the ground.
- Loading i.e. from when your heel strikes the ground to the point when your forefoot touches it.
- Mid-stance is the point at which your heel lifts from the floor and your forefoot flexes.
- Toe-off is when your foot leaves the ground.
- Swing is the duration between your foot leaving the ground and when it touches the ground again.
Is there an ideal way to run? There’s research that supports both heel strike and forefoot strike (landing on the ball of your foot, first, then your heel) depending on the runner. In general, at Next Level Physio, we have found that forefoot strikers tend to have fewer common runner injuries (IT band syndrome, shin splints, meniscus injuries) than heel strikers.
What is Gait Analysis?
The first step to understanding running injuries is through a gait analysis. Constant wear and tear with non-optimal running form can lead to serious injuries that can affect your training and performance negatively. If you are a serious runner, the issues our gait analysis can reveal will be invaluable for you.
At Next Level Physio, we provide clients with both a 2D and 3D video analysis of our clients to help reveal and identify where the potential problem points are. Are you overstriding? Collapsing when you land? Hunched over? Heel striking? Once we identify how you run, we take a look at your footwear, perform a full movement assessment, and see how all of these factors tie into your symptoms. for example. Are you saying I may need to change how I run?
Small changes made to how you run can pay dividends, if you’re committed to the process.
We take gait assessments seriously here at Next Level Physio and will assign a physiotherapist who can help you meet your performance milestones. Get in touch with us for a consultation today!