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Gait Analysis Stops Runners’ Injuries in Their Tracks


A lucky few runners escape running-associated injury. Depending on the training distance, somewhere between 50 percent and 90 percent of runners are sidelined during their running careers because of getting hurt.


An article published September 22, 2014 in the Wall Street Journal looks at gait analysis as a way to prevent running injuries, as well as discover why injuries occur. A gait analysis involves having an expert, such as a sports physician or physical therapist, analyze a runner’s movement during a run, to determine if something in the runner’s stride or running style might be causing injuries. That expert might also evaluate runners for strength and flexibility.

The thinking is this: Common running injuries are likely associated with something going awry in the runner’s stride. Correcting the gait or other issue will prevent an injury or relieve a chronic issue. Examples include runner’s knee, hamstring (back of the leg) pain, stress fractures and plantar fasciitis. Runner’s knee might occur because the runner’s gluteal muscles aren’t strong enough to keep the knee in line. The resulting soreness between the knee cap and thigh bone can be corrected with exercises prescribed by a physical therapist. Proximal hamstring tendinosis occurs in over-striders, whose legs are too straight when they land. The calf tightness that can cause plantar fasciitis, which is pain in near the heel, might result from a forefoot landing, overtraining or the wrong shoes. And stress fractures in the feet and shins can result from an outward or inward stride, as well as from having to break because of over-striding.

All these issues can be corrected by exercise or stride training. Physical therapists can help in both areas to put runners on a healthy track.

Physical therapists are the exercise experts. For more about how physical therapy can help runners prevent injury, as well as get back on the road after sustaining running injuries, contact A Physical Therapist, Inc.

A Physical Therapist, Inc., is a one-on-one physical therapy clinic in Delray Beach, Fla., and Harrisburg, Penn. For patients in Palm Beach County, A Physical Therapist, Inc., is easily accessible from Boca Raton or Boynton Beach. For patients in Dauphin County, A Physical Therapist, Inc., is easily accessible from Hershey and Marysville.

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