Running Performance Evaluations
Are you a runner? If so, you understand the importance of maintaining proper form and technique while you’re out on a trail, training for a marathon, or simply jogging through the neighborhood. At Virginia Center for Spine & Sports Therapy, we perform a thorough gait analysis to make sure that you are performing at your optimum levels of function, so you can avoid injury and get the most out of your sport! Below are 3 tips to keep in mind when training to improve your running mechanics:
Multiple studies have analyzed the effects of cadence (steps per minute) on a runner’s likelihood of sustaining an injury. It has been shown that a different cadence has an effect on the amount of load a runner can experience at the hip, knee, and ankle joints. A quicker cadence can often help reduce pain with certain hip and knee related running injuries. To increase your cadence, you can attempt to use a metronome to take more steps per minute. This will reduce loading on the hips and knees, potentially reducing your pain with running!
2. Hip Control
Much of running is focused on the feet; however, hip stability plays a large role in running, as well. You can achieve improved control of your hips with running by focusing on strength training and a few easy tips while running.
If you are an individual who tends to run with a “cross-over” gait, where one foot is landing in front of the other, you can focus on running with a wider stance, often achieved with a line on a track directly between your feet while you run. If you are an individual who tends to notice your feet or knees coming closer together while you land you can focus on controlling this motion. This can be done by attempting to keep your knees out when you land or by imagining your knee caps as a flashlight and attempting to keep the light shining straight forward.
This can also be improved with corrective exercises and a gait analysis performed by one of our Midlothian, VA physical therapists.
3. Foot Contact
It has been shown by multiple studies that “overstriding”, where the foot lands too far in front of the body, can contribute to several different overuse injuries in runners. This “overstriding” is often seen in runners who are fatigued at the end of a race or training session. This can be improved by gradually increasing your running over time without significant jumps in distance, intensity, or frequency of your runs. As far as running form is concerned, see point one above about cadence, often increasing your step rate will bring your feet back underneath you to eliminate “overstriding”. Foot contact can be addressed by adjusting your training regimen and/or the way you run, which can be accomplished with the help of our Midlothian, VA physical therapists.
Contact us today!
Are you ready to run at your peak level of performance? Contact our Midlothian, VA physical therapy practice today! At Virginia Center for Spine & Sports Therapy, we’ll examine your running mechanics to figure out how your running efficiency can be increased to improve performance and reduce your risk of injury. Call us today! Included below is a sample of what our standard gait evaluation might include.
Running Gait Analysis
- Two sessions of 1 hour in duration with Andrew Mann, DPT, CSCS, Cert. DN
- First visit: Includes running history, Table examination, and Video analysis
- Second visit: Corrective Exercises, Running cues, Goal setting, Footwear discussion
- Report: List of corrective exercises, Gait cues, and Individualized findings