Gait Analysis: The Serious Runner’s Salvation (via the Wall Street Journal)


Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal had an interesting article on gait analysis. The full article can be found here.

I encourage you to read the whole article, but some key points include:

  • Gait analysis seeks to identify the root of an injury, or a bad habit that may lead to one
  • Gait analysis starts with an evaluation of strength and flexibility that includes some manipulation on an examination table and a series of exercises. That is followed by a running session on a treadmill in front of a video camera
  • Gait analysis has become a more accepted part of sports medicine, as traditionally trained orthopedists and surgeons have started to embrace the holistic approach of chiropractors, osteopaths and physical therapists
  • According to the article, if you are mechanically correct and there is still pain, then a gait analysis can help, since running shouldn’t lead to joint injuries
  • There is a high degree of correlation between certain running patterns and certain injuries
  • Gait examinations generally cost between $200 and $500, depending on the location and the sophistication of the equipment

    Have you ever had your gait analyzed?

    Is this something you would do if given the opportunity?

    Also, be sure to check out my post on runScribe, a new product that allows you to collect your own data.

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    10 Responses to Gait Analysis: The Serious Runner’s Salvation (via the Wall Street Journal)

    1. WalkToRio says:

      I’m getting it done today. Lately I’ve been dealing with tendonitis on my left ankle/shin, we’ll see how it goes.

    2. Charlotte says:

      The proximal hamstring tendinosis from straight-leg landing is interesting… Back when I ran I know I had a tendency to overstride, and I’m noticing old hamstring/hip issues now that i’m focusing primarily on barre. This is a very cool article!

    3. Hollie says:

      I personally think everyone could use getting their gait analyzed at one point or another. It’s so beneficial for anyone who wants to run at the next level. This was a great article and thanks for linking to it!

    4. omnirunner says:

      My PT did an analysis in January when I had knee problems. I need to increase my cadence to 180 steps, to single leg strength exercises because one side is stronger. She also said I land on one foot more often than the other. She said it was several steps, maybe 5, different. Still can’t get my head around how that is possible.
      This is imarunnerandsocanyou, I moved to a new self-hosted site.

    5. wanderwolf says:

      The kind of gait analysis discussed here is fancy, and I would consider doing it if I were consistently getting the same injury. However, I know many running stores do a sort of quick-style gait analysis to help determine some of the easier-to-spot issues like supination, pronation, etc. It helped me get a pair of shoes that worked for me, but it also corrected my self-diagnosis of knees moving inward when actually I was fine. Psychologically, it helped me stick to my natural stride.

      • Andrew Nagelin says:

        Our local running store does the analysis also. Having a trained physical therapist do it is definitely the better route to go. Now I just need to do the exercises she told me to do! Andy

    6. If given the opportunity (especially for free) I’d love it!

    7. bgddyjim says:

      Well kinda, the guy at the running shoe store had me walk back and forth for a minute and said, “neutral”… But it only took two minutes and didn’t cost anything. Too bad I can’t buy a $3,000 pair of sneakers and get the analysis done free. Chuckle.

    8. Maria Mintz says:

      I’m wondering if my running days in high school and college caused me to need my left knee replaced twice and now my right knee due for the same. Wish I had a gait analysis years ago.

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