At our footcare clinics in Beeston, Nottingham and Ilkeston, Derby, one of the services we offer is gait analysis. You may be wondering what is a gait analysis and how can it help. In this post, we are going to explore a runner’s gait analysis.
Most runners aspire to be better than they were the day before. Whether you want to run farther, faster, or just feel better doing it, many runners feel a fundamental need to improve their performance. Gait analysis or gait assessment is the process we use to find ideal running shoes for you.
Running gait is the most basic means of analysing running form, hence, improving running speed and endurance. It also helps address running faults to decrease your risk of injury.
What is a running gait?
Running gait is the cycle a leg travels through during one step when running. The cycle includes two main phases: stance and swing. Within the swing phase, there’s a subphase unique to running called float or flight.
Stance includes the time when your foot initially makes contact with the ground until the body is over the foot. This is the period of impact and absorption.
As your body travels ahead of your foot, you transition into the swing phase of gait when your foot leaves the ground. Your leg travels forward, flexing at the hip and knee before making contact again.
During this swing phase, there’s a moment during which neither foot is in contact with the ground and your body is floating in the air unsupported. This is called the float stage, and it’s the main difference between a running and walking gait.
What is a runner’s gait analysis?
An analysis allows you to see components of movement, such as foot contact placement and your posture. It also allows you to see where your joints may not be supporting you adequately, as well as where there are poorly controlled movements.
Tips for your running gait analysis/biomechanical assessment
It all starts with you!
First, wear clothing that conforms to your body and is not loose or baggy. Doing so allows for a clear view of limb movement. Our clinical team will get to know you as a runner, the type of running you do or want to do; if you have any races planned or any other goals you hope to achieve. We will also ask about any running injuries you may have had. All this information will help us to formulate a treatment plan. Wearing or bringing the footwear you would wear for running.
How do you improve your running gait?
It takes effort and practice to improve your running gait, but it is possible. One of the biggest difficulties is that changing one variable in your running form will likely cause a change in another area of your running form.
You may benefit from making small changes, one at a time, and assessing the difference.
Is the runner’s gait analysis worth it?
Gait analysis can be a powerful way to determine if you have any bad habits that are causing extra strain on your body. It can also be useful for determining if you need any insoles or additional treatment needed to correct any poor foot posture.