Running Gait Assessments

Running Gait Assessments in Chelsea Heights

Running is a highly accessible and popular form of physical activity across the world and in Australia. It is also a form of exercise that so many people experience pain and injuries with running at least some point in their lifetime. Just like riding a bike, performing a weighted squat, playing the piano or even drawing, running requires a certain technique and skill.

Do all runners need to have the same technique or a “perfect technique”? Absolutely not. In our opinion here at Total Balance Healthcare every individual is different and running styles need to be adapted to their presentation and what feels comfortable to them.

What is a Running Gait Analysis?

Essentially, a running analysis is where we analyse your running form. This is not designed to ensure that you have the “perfect running form” or that we will tell all runners to run a certain way. This is designed to understand where you are getting discomfort with running and then by looking at your running technique we can identify potential causes of the pain you are experiencing. The aim from there will be to make slight alterations to your technique to reduce or completely eliminate the pain you are experiencing.

How Can a Running Gait Analysis Help You?

Decrease Pain

This is our number one focus when conducting a running analysis. Running is a very repetitive activity and requires a high demand of the tissues and structures in the lower body. By changing running mechanics slightly, we can shift the load to other structures in the lower body that are more capable of dealing with the physical demands of running.

Improve Performance

As osteopaths we are not running or performance coaches. Therefore enhancing performance such as improving times or increasing distance of runs is not necessarily our primary focus. Often sometimes we will see a decrease in performance initially, as you are getting used to the changes that we are slowly making and getting used to your new way of running. However, once pain improves and fitness levels increase, this is where the magic happens and individuals will often see an improvement in their running performance.

Mental Health and Clarity

Most runners that come through our door here at Total Balance Healthcare, love using running as a way of keeping on top of their mental health and a way to gather their own thoughts. This can become really difficult however when they are experiencing pain or injury with every step they take. We find that when we get runners out of pain and running more frequently, not only does their mental clarity improve but their sense of fulfilment and enjoyment with other aspects in their life improves along with it.

What can I expect during my first consultation?

If we map out what your first running assessment consultation will look like, you can expect something similar to this:

Initially we will perform a thorough history taking to get some in depth information on what brings you into the clinic for a running assessment . Typically in the first consultation, we spend up to 15-20 minutes discussing your running related pain, what is causing your pain, the type of running you do and any potential running related goals that you may have in mind.

This is where we will likely get you to do some functional movements to assess your mobility and muscle strength based on the information you have provided to us in your history. This is designed to assess any potential muscle imbalances that you may have or reduced range of motion which may be impacting your abilities to run effectively and pain free.

This is the fun part and where you will hop up onto the treadmill and do a little bit of running. Whilst you are running on the treadmill, we will watch how you are running in real time and also film you on our ipad so that we can play back the footage in slow motion and analyse what we see. From here, we will have a look back at the footage together and suggest ways in which you can improve your running technique to help reduce your pain. Simply changing your running technique can not always get you out of pain immediately and working on the things we suggest throughout your runs will take time to adapt to and make it feel natural.

Which running conditions does Osteopathy best help with?

We may be able to provide relief for:

Shin splints
Ankle pain or sprains
Plantar fasciitis
Chondromalacia patella (Runners knee)
IT Band Syndrome
Muscle strains
Achilles Tendinopathy
Low back related pain when running

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