The Asymmetries of a Runner
The Importance of a Running Gait Assessment
By Kevin Morris, MS, ATC
The average cadence for a runner is around 160 steps per minute. Let us say you run for 30 minutes. Over this span, you will have stepped 4800 times. Sounds like a lot. Now what if I said each step you take produces a force of up to 3 times your body weight! It is no wonder why some runners have a tough time staying healthy.
Running is a great form of physical activity that has been shown to reduce a number of health conditions such as: obesity, cancer, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease. However, due to what was mentioned above, running requires a great amount of strength, flexibility, mobility, and coordination to withstand all that force produced through running. As more people are trying to stay active or finding new ways to be active through running, it is important to understand your running gait.
At Achieve, we use a wearable sensor technology for our running gait analysis called dorsaVi. DorsaVi is able to measure in real time your ground reaction force, tibial acceleration, and ground contact time. In a nutshell, it can tell us how much you are loading, how fast you are coming down to your initial foot strike, and how much time you are spending from initial foot strike to toe off. The numbers are compared between your Left and Right side to signify any asymmetries that are present. A slow motion video is captured to analyze body position, angles, and muscle activation during your gait.
So why should you get a running gait analysis? You may be someone who loads 10% more on your right leg, come down harder on your left side, or simply toe off to quickly on one side, and not even know you are doing it. This is all pertinent information to keeping you healthy. And if you think about it, on that same 30 minute run, you take 4800 steps or 2400 on your right leg, and you are loading 10% more on your right leg, that is a lot of stress being placed on your right leg for no better reason than you are compensating for some other issue.
Avoid spending time with your running shoes unlaced and get your running gait assessed at Achieve Sports Medicine. To schedule your running gait assessment, please call us at 630-891-3980 or email Kevin Morris at email@example.com