If you are an injured runner, you would be referred for an X-ray or MRI to diagnose the injury so why not a running gait analysis to diagnose the cause? An X-ray and MRI will show you the exact structure that is injured but what it won’t show you is how that injury occurred. A good practitioner will know how crucial it is to establish an accurate diagnosis when treating an injury but what is often neglected in the treatment of running injuries is the understanding and treatment of the underlying cause.
If the injury is a true overuse injury then generally the runner’s biomechanics are involved. Biomechanics describes the way a person moves or how their body functions during the gait cycle. Issues with the biomechanics can lead to overuse injuries developing insidiously often weeks or months prior to the injury presenting as pain or malfunction. Therefore not only is a running gait assessment crucial in highlighting any biomechanical problems that may have led to the injury but also play an important role in the prevention of running injuries.
Some of the issues that may increase your risk of lower limb injuries include poor pelvic stability, rotation and adduction of the knees or excessive foot pronation. All of these factors can easily be identified by a qualified sports practitioner and appropriately treated. Often it can be as simple as provide gait retraining advice or as complex as creating specific strengthening programs and orthotic therapy. The treatment should always be running specific and followup gait assessments to determine the uptake of the treatment is key.
Runners have a 50% chance of developing an injury within a given year so the proactive runner will include a running gait assessment as part of their running program to prevent any injuries from preventing them from achieving their goals.
For further information or to make an appointment withour Podiatrist, please contact our podiatry practice website.