Running Assessment and Gait Analysis
The aim of a running injury assessment is, firstly, to diagnose the injury and, secondly, try to establish what factors may have caused the injury to occur in the first place. Using a combination of history taking, standard assessment tests and specialized equipment enables me to get an accurate diagnosis so I can come up with the best treatment plan to help get you back on your feet. Here are some of the methods I use when assessing your injury problem.
I want to find out what may have caused your injury problem in the first place. Is it due to overtraining, a recurrence of an old injury, or something else in your medical history? In order to do that I need to spend time asking questions about the circumstances of your injury problem, your medical history, your training plan for any sports you are involved in and any history of previous injury. Knowing this important information enables me to put the pieces of the puzzle together and work out what went wrong.
Weight Bearing Assessment
Checking foot and lower limb alignment, muscle activation, balance, flexibility and range of movement using some simple tests. A more detailed Strength and Flexibility assessment or Gait Analysis may be advised if you are an athlete.
Non Weight Bearing Assessment
Checking for any painful areas, signs of high pressure on the foot, range and quality of movement, circulation, sensation and joint mobility. At this point I may suggest referring you for special tests such as MRI scanning if the cause of your injury problem is unclear.
Gait analysis is a posh term for, literally, watching you walk and run! The aim is to check movement patterns which may be contributing to injury or pain.
This may be as simple as watching you walk up and down in the corridor using the Mark 1 Eyeball, right up to more complex assessments using a treadmill with high resolution video to capture important data.
Which one do you need? It really depends on what the problem is. If it is straightforward and not a running-related injury then a quick walk up and down may give me all the info I need. On the other hand, if you are a runner I may want to look at your running style on the treadmill using multiple camera angles to capture important data. Here are some of the analysis tools I use to assess your gait:
The Mark 1 Eyeball
Watching you walk up and down!
Video Treadmill Analysis
This specialized assessment uses a treadmill with high resolution video to capture important data frame by frame while you are running and walking. This enables me to look at running technique and identify any movement patterns which may increase the risk of injury.
Tekscan Pressure Mat Analysis
This enables me to assess the forces going through the foot when walking barefoot across a special floor mat with multiple high-resolution sensors. This gives me useful information such as high-pressure areas, balance, speeds and angles of gait, assessing any significant differences between the left and right foot.
Strength and Flexibility Assessment
Weakness or lack of flexibility in key muscle groups is a key contributing factor to running injuries. This specialized assessment enables me to check relative muscle strength, balance and flexibility left and right to identify any areas of concern which can then be addressed with an individual exercise plan specifically designed for you.