The “Gaitway” to remaining injury free

Now before you call the Spelling Police on me, bear with me while I explain the reasoning behind today’s post ‘spelling mistake.’

I will be talking to you about … Gait Analysis *sense the dogs have been called off … phew!*

While I am not a fitness expert yet as I’m just starting on my journey to qualify as a Personal Trainer, I am reading loads as well as actually going through a lot of the topics I cover on my blog. With that being said, you should always seek the advice of a trained professional if you are unsure.

During the well documented ITB injury *groans from the regular readers of the blog; I know you’re all fed up of me going on about it now* it was advised that I go through gait analysis while going to physiotherapy and when I get new trainers as it was established that my beloved Lunars were the cause of the knee injury.

But what is Gait Analysis?

Gait analysis looks at your body’s movement (biomechanics) during running. It is commonly used to help athletes run more efficiently and to identify movement-related problems for people who have injuries. –

Bupa Health

This means that you walk and/or run on a treadmill and they look at how your feet land as you’re doing so, this can look at which part of the foot strikes the floor first and if the feet roll inward/outward/not at all. You’re usually asked to take your current running trainers with you to compare them with the trainers that would be recommended after analysis. And finally the sole of your foot is analysed in order to establish whether you have arches (which will be explained in more detail in a moment.)

If you find you have ‘a little twinge here or there from your feet up as far as your lower back, this could all be down to your footwear. I never knew any of this until I started my running journey, but didn’t really hit home until I spoke with my physiotherapist after I had injured myself. Here is a brief explanation of the foot.

Pronation – An explanation

Basic terms: How your feet turn as your foot lands on the floor as you walk/run. Now here are the various ways the feet turn in/out. I will be as simple as I can! (Not that you smarty pants readers need it, of course! *wink*)

  • Supination (Underpronation)Place your left hand palm faced down onto the table. Now arch a lot. Now try to roll your hand towards the right. Doesn’t go that far over, does it? This is what your feet are doing as they land on the ground as you walk/run. High arched foot, which doesn’t roll inward enough. You will be placing most of your weight on the outside of your foot. According to what I have found out you should look for shock absorption to reduce impact on your lower legs and back as stress fractures are higher.
  • Overpronation Place your left hand palm faced down onto the table. Now roll your hand towards the right. It should come over to the point where the outside of your hand is off the table, right? That is what your feet are doing as they land on the ground as you walk/run. The foot is either flat or has a very slight arch and this causes the foot to roll inward too much. The weight is mainly distributed to your big toe and puts stress on your knees and hips which causes the alignment to shift. Issues can also occur to the Achilles area of the foot. Stability at the Achilles and stability support in the arch area will make life much less pain free.
  • Neutral Luck you! You tend to strike the floor around the middle area of the foot or the outside of the heel which is evening out the weight across the whole of the foot. Give yourself a pat on the back and stop looking so smug!

While I was devastated that I had to buy a non Nike pair of trainers for the first time ever in my adult life (my Converse don’t count and I had a pair of Adidas gifted to me) I have *touch wood* been injury free and with pride swallowed I will have to continue to wear non Nike trainers. But I draw the line at my running shoes for now.

If you are unsure of what you need, any good store stocking running trainers will have Gait Analysis available. And again, always seek advice from trained physicians or physiotherapists if need be!

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5 thoughts on “The “Gaitway” to remaining injury free

  1. I’m going to get this done tomorrow afternoon as (shamefully) I never have. I take it I’d be better off going to a specialist retailer rather than just rocking up to Niketown (might have been my plan)?

    M

    • Both won’t hurt, Liss.

      Nike are just as good with analysis but where I’m mid pronated they were too flat for my feet/knees. There’s a running shop in Central called Marathon Store me thinks, have a Google and maybe go to both? x

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