Gait Analysis: Your Stride Can Reveal A Lot

Have you ever had a Gait Analysis done on your running? Not running on the TM at the local running shop when you’re buying new shoes. I never had. Not everyone needs to have one. It’s not like doing a VO2 Max or Fuel test that gives you useful training tools. Often it confirms inefficiencies that you may or may not know you have. This allows for you and your practitioner to implement a plan to correct the offending issue.
Earlier this winter, I had a Functional Movement Assessment at Revo Physio Therapy and Sports Performance in Boulder. As a result of my Functional Movement Assessment, Dane DeLozier, PT and Co-Owner of the clinic, identified a muscular weakness and assigned me some strength and stretching exercises.
Not long after that, I met again with Dane and had a Gait Analysis.
Dane once again stuck little LED lights on my body at key points and had me run on the treadmill while he took some video. The video revealed several things.
First, the exercises that I had been doing as a result of our previous session were paying off. He had this to say,
“The anterior/front view shows an improvement in the dynamic knee valgus movement as compared to our initial evaluation.”
Dane explained, “Knee valgus, or medial collapse of the knee, is a common movement fault seen along with anterior knee pain, IT Band pain and Achilles pain. Often coming from a lack of activation at the glute, more than just strength exercise is required to address this fault.”
jen TM posterior view_0Next he made this discovery,
“The posterior/back view shows moderate pelvic drop. A very common movement fault in cyclists. As we are most often supported by a saddle when we get out and run the cyclical single limb stance often reveals lateral hip weakness. Glute med is responsible for controlling this movement and can be addressed with a simple monster walk exercises.”
Monster walk is an exercises aimed at strengthening the glute med muscle. This is located at the lateral hip and is responsible for pelvic/femoral stability. Cyclists are often underdeveloped in this muscle as they are supported by the saddle. Thus not requiring as much lateral hip stability as say a runner does. Ideally a resistance band is at the feet and short side steps are taken. Focus should be on slowing progression of the trailing leg.
More to work on.

photo by Lester Pardoe

photo by Lester Pardoe

For me, the other important information was about my ankle and foot movement.
Here’s what Dane had to say:
“Pronation is a term that gets a bad wrap. Pronation is in fact good. Certainly there are cases of excessive pronation but in most cases this is simply not present. The foot and ankle complex are an engineering feat. In combination they provide both shock absorption and a rigid platform for push off.”
“In this video, I see appropriate pronation as well as adequate dorsiflexion at midstance to absorb impact and create tension in the posterior chain.”
Something else to watch for in a gait analysis is shock absorption. Increasing both in knee flexion and hip flexion measures at mid stance is indicative of good activation in the quad vs glute. Poor active shock absorption generally means the bony structures of the legs are taking more stress than the elastic structures. This can result in dysfunction ranging from anterior knee pain to stress fractures.
My experience with Dane and Revo Physio Therapy has been a good one. I’ve been doing the exercises and stretches as best I can and I’m seeing and feeling improvements. Hooking up and working with the right practitioners is super important. The best thing you can do for yourself is keep yourself healthy.
About Dane

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