Tom Goom, our Clinical Lead at the Physio Rooms, is a Running Injury Specialist and expert in gait analysis. He teaches other Physiotherapists around the country on his extremely popular Running Repairs Course and has been consulted by leading researchers on the topic. Today he shares his views with us on running gait analysis. Analysing how someone runs is a complex process. It takes an understanding of biomechanics, injury, tissue load and performance. The whole gait cycle, from initial foot strike through to the end of the swing phase, needs to be assessed with a top-to-toe analysis. It's very easy to be tempted to examine just one area, such as the feet, which you often see done in shoe store gait analysis, but it's essential to see how the arms, trunk, hips, knees and pelvis are moving. Slow motion video-capture is essential as the whole gait cycle takes less than a second!
Taking the video really is only half the challenge. Once you've recorded someone running interpreting your findings and providing running cues to make effective changes takes considerable expertise. With the right approach runners can see significant benefits in terms of reducing pain and improving performance. Changes can occur within a single session (please see the picture below) but require follow up sessions and strength and conditioning work for best long term results.
In the example above we see a runner with a narrow stride accompanied with increased hip adduction (leg moving towards the midline) and right sided pelvic drop. This increases the stress on the hip, knee and shin and can lead to issues such as runners knee, ITB syndrome and 'shin splints'. Using the right cues and drills we can see an immediate increase in stride width and an improvement in position of the hip and pelvis. Removing unnecessary lateral movement like this is likely to improve performance too, leading to a faster, more comfortable runner!
The gait analysis we provide is based on the very latest research and training techniques and yet is included as part of your physiotherapy treatment. This offers excellent value with analysis included within a £45 session, we have seen this service priced at £180 elsewhere. Here at The Physio Rooms we endeavour to keep our gait analysis affordable yet ensure that you the patient gets the very latest evidence based gait analysis without any of the gimmicks.
Call us on 01273 667826 and speak to one of our helpful team about our gait analysis services and how this can add benefits to your running.