Gait analysis explained: Reducing pain & injury risk

posted in: Blog, Sports | 0

Gait analysis can help you to increase performance, reduce pain and injury risk.
Sports physiotherapist Kayleigh Llewellyn blogs about what it is, how we do it and what you can get out of just 60 minutes with a KTB physio appointment.

As a competitive runner in secondary school and throughout university in the US I had many running analyses over the years and I cannot express the importance they made for me.
Even with 10 years of competing I would learn something new about my body each time and be able to implement changes to decrease my injuries and improve my time.

Now I get to offer that option to other people here at KTB with our gait analysis.

What is it?

A running analysis is exactly what it sounds like. As a physiotherapist, and movement specialist, we observe/analyse you running on a treadmill (usually around 10-15 minutes), and with your permission film it and then sit down and discuss/show what we saw with you. Prior to the observation we will have a small chat to find out what you’re hoping to get from the analysis, answer a few questions that give us some insight into your training. Then, following the observation we’ll discuss potential changes to be made with your form and exercises to start including (if needed), and then we may return to the treadmill to try them out!

Why should I get one done?

A running analysis can be a great way to determine what is causing your pain while running. Several patients we see in the early phase of rehab have pain with running but not with walking. Watching you run and seeing when the pain occurs can answer a lot of questions and point your rehab in the right direction much more quickly.
If you don’t have pain, it can be really useful in preventing injuries and even increasing your efficiency with running. Minor changes in your running form can make a big difference to how you feel running, how long you can run, and even how fast you can run.

How long does it take?

At KTB we offer a 30 minute or 60 minute session. For a full analysis, 60 minutes is recommended so that we ca spend 30 minutes with your running and the remainder for discussion and education.

What types of changes might be made, or exercises given?

Depending on your running form, the analysis may show some imbalances from left to right, such as a weakness or tightness in your hip on one side or different positions of your feet increasing stress on your ankle or calf. The potential changes to be made to your running could

Include step length, base of support, cadence, trunk position or foot position. The exercises are recommended on an individual basis depending upon your specific weakness or tightness. As mentioned in our calf pain blog post, strength training is important for runners so some squat variations or balance activities will probably be recommended!

What should I wear/bring?

Running clothes! We want to see your normal running form. So please bring your normal running clothes, your shoes should be the pair you’ve been training in for at least a couple weeks and shorts are preferable to leggings so that we can see your legs. If you have multiple running shoes, a pair that are not black would be preferred.

And that’s it – we’ve got the rest!

To answer any other questions or schedule your analysis, book in.
You may also like to read our blog ‘Why do I get calf pain when I run?’