Are you a runner looking to get the most out of your form this year?
Getting back into running after recovering from an injury?
Are you new to the sport of running, and want to make sure you reduce your risk of injury?
Before you get started on your physical therapy journey this year, it’s important to determine what shoes best suit you and your lifestyle. To do so, you’ll need a running analysis.
A running analysis looks at just how you move to determine your running style and what you will need to keep doing to stay on track for a lifetime of safe running.
Here at Capitol Physical Therapy, one of the physical therapy services we offer is a running analysis.
And while we also offer physical therapy for sports and running injuries, it’s best to avoid such injuries in the first place.
A running analysis can help.
What Is A Running Analysis?
A running analysis, also known as a gait analysis, looks at your running form to gain insight into your posture, address faults in your technique and determine what aspects of your leg and body movements can be improved upon.
The running analysis breaks down your stride into components by showing how and where your feet land and where they absorb impact.
Each person will have a different style of running making this analysis a way of highlighting your unique running form.
But how, you ask?
With the help of a treadmill.
What Does A Running Analysis Look At?
What a running analysis does is look at the running pattern related to the movement your feet make.
It starts with a video assessment of you running on a treadmill, capturing your feet and your running form from multiple angles.
If you’re doing this assessment with a physical therapist or someone at a running shop, you may also be asked questions about your running history, recurring injuries, and current mobility.
What Are The Goals Of A Running Analysis?
There are three major reasons to perform a running analysis.
An analysis allows you to see individual components of your movement, such as running stride and where your feet make contact.
It shows you just where your joints may not be supporting you properly and keeps an eye out for poorly controlled motions.
Thanks to the video analysis, you’ll be able to view different running stages in detail, allowing physical therapists to identify key motions that can trigger injuries or affect how efficient your running form is.
A running analysis is valuable as you can rehab your form.
As you return from an injury, you’ll want to see what part of your running style may have contributed to the injury.
Sometimes something as simple as a shoe choice or the way your foot hits the ground can be a major contributor.
With the correct results provided by video analysis, it’s possible to try a variety of different shoes, cushioning, and other support options aimed to provide maximum comfort and efficiency.
One benefit of running analysis is it allows you to witness excessive movements you make that bog down your running.
Running can be broken down into two phases: the stance, where your heel strikes the ground and your body prepares to generate propulsive force to take you swinging, the second phase.
Once your foot leaves the ground, your body leaps forward, limbs swinging until your feet make contact with the ground again.
Each stage of your running is unique. Your running form is highly influenced by mobility, stability, footwear, and coaching, or lack thereof.
Most of us are never taught exactly what proper running looks like, so we develop bad habits and excessive movements that can impede our form and run the risk of injury.
Common issues include over striding, insufficient arm swinging, and excessive vertical oscillation.
As a result, you can see huge benefits from making slight key changes that impact your running speed and endurance.
As well, gait training physical therapy often starts with a running analysis.
There are three main types of running patterns related to the foot’s movement during a running sequence.
A major focus of a running analysis is to measure the degree of pronation, the way your foot will naturally roll inward as the outside part of your heel touches the ground.
This roll is a shock absorber that evenly distributes the force of impact from hitting the ground across the leg and body.
What happens when the feet roll inward too much? That’s what we know as over pronation, a condition that can result in shin splints, ankle sprains, Achilles tendinitis, and shin splints.
Under pronation occurs when the feet don’t roll inward enough, potentially leading to heel pain, plantar fasciitis, bunions, sprains, and rolled ankles.
What a running analysis will do is match your natural degree of pronation with a matching shoe type that works as a counter-balancer, reducing the risk of injury and improving the efficiency of your running form.
Book Your Appointment With Capitol Physical Therapy Today
It takes effort to improve your running form but it is possible.
Being able to change one variable will likely cause changes elsewhere in your form and a running analysis can be the key to discovering where to start.
With the help of our Washington DC physical therapists, you’ll have a much easier time discerning which running options are right for you.
Book an appointment today with Capital Physical Therapy to begin your journey for a better running form.