Running Stride Analysis and Technique Optimization
Are you tired of letting pain and injury slow you down? Are you unable to achieve consistent running mileage?
Have you suffered from a running injury and been told simply to "stop running" in order to fix the problem? More often than not, this is the wrong treatment approach and can lead to further injury. Treat the problems, not the symptoms, and you will have a better chance at returning to the sport with your normal training volume.
Research indicates around 75% of runners will become injured within a year's time. Runners have specialized needs because of the high demands of their sport. It is my experience that runners both want and need more than the average physical therapy clinic can offer or provide to them. Part of the solution should be a thorough running gait analysis. When you are on your third trial of Physical Therapy in the last year or two at a general clinic with the same problems resurfacing, it's time to try more specific approaches.
For specific information about the following types of evaluations, click one of the links listed below.
+ What is included in a running gait and technique evaluation?
All gait evaluation sessions last 2 to 2.5 hours and will include:
- review of medical, health and training history
- a comprehensive physical examination of injury, posture, strength, stability and mobility
- video running gait analysis
- sport specific corrective exercise prescription
- discussion of equipment requirements
- written interpretation of findings with a goal setting treatment plan for correction of identified problems and return to prior running level safely
- digital copies of your video recordings
+ Why have a running gait and technique evaluation performed?
There are multiple reasons why you might be interested in a video gait analysis in conjunction with a detailed physical examination and evaluation.
- to resolve existing or recurring running injury
- to improve performance and efficiency of the entire movement pattern
- to avoid future injury anywhere in the body where running places a high demand to resolve issues that haven't been addressed with standard care techniques
+ Why would you change your running technique?
Running is a skill that can be improved, just as any other sports skill. A runner's technique abilities can be trained and are not always innate. Proper technique can prevent injury, improve performance, and increase efficiency. One of the biggest factors I see contributing to formation of abnormal running technique is a current or past injury. Runners want to keep running at all costs and they will often find a movement pattern to use that doesn't hurt. But this pattern isn't normal for them. With enough time they acquire yet another injury, continuing the cycle.
+ What is the best running technique?
There is not one best technique for running. People have anatomical variations and their nervous systems have learned to move differently. This does not mean that there aren't some general concepts that all runners should share though. Runners of all ability levels, from beginner to elite, can benefit from a thorough gait evaluation to determine if they are running in the best way possible for them.
+ What makes the running evaluation process at Mountain Ridge Physical Therapy unique?
Here, your running injury evaluation and treatment outcome is the result of a combination of several factors:
- 8 years of licensed clinical experience as a Physical Therapist
- 17 years of fitness and rehabilitation industry experience
- 22 years of competitive running and sport experience
- clinical expertise
- new technology
- recent research findings
Having had various running injuries myself over the years I understand what it is like to lose the ability to run. I want to get you back to the sport you love and eliminate problem areas before they become chronic issues that prevent you from running or force you to reduce your mileage.
The primary goal at Mountain Ridge Physical Therapy is to optimize your health and fitness as I strive to not only help you become a better runner but a better overall athlete who is more resistant to injury.
I expect the overall evaluation process to be the most thorough you would ever receive for a running injury in this region. The point is not for you to run on a treadmill and point out problems with X, Y, and Z." The point is to look at the variety of factors that cause you to run with a certain pattern and determine if those are normal for you or not. If they are not within normal ranges then we can address them quickly and effectively.
+ What research supports Physical Therapy intervention with running technique modifications?
Research indicates Physical Therapy is particularly effective for identification and treatment of factors contributing to knee pain, a common issue among runners (Crossley, K, American Journal of Sports Medicine, November 2002 -- Ireland, MI, JOSPT, November 2003 -- Ramskov, D, JOSPT, March 2015 -- Taunton, JE, British Journal of Sports Medicine, April 2002).
Technique training can decrease stress and pain at the knees as well as in other tissues in the legs (Cheung, RTH, JOSPT, October 2011 -- Lenhart, RL, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, March 2014). The running technique training methods used at Mountain Ridge Physical Therapy have been demonstrated as effective for retraining running technique in both injured and uninjured runners (Agresta, C, JOSPT, August 2015).
+ Is everyone's running technique a problem?
No. Technique is only part of the full picture. Perhaps your basic running technique isn't an obvious issue to other runners or coaches. And maybe you have a controlled and gradual progression of training. Yet you keep having injuries anyway. Your injuries may ultimately come down to specific weaknesses, poor joint mobility, decreased muscle activation or a variety of other factors that feed an abnormal movement pattern. That pattern may not show up until you have run to a certain level of fatigue. That pattern may also be very subtle and not obvious to the casual onlooker.