Run Analysis (Biomechanics)
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A gait analysis is a method for identifying biomechanical abnormalities in the gait cycle, or in other words, it’s a tool used to assess the way in which you walk and run. It can be beneficial in that it can identify any overactive or underactive muscles in the feet, which could lead to potential injuries and inefficiencies in the future.
Running gait is the cycle a leg travels through during one step when running. The cycle includes two main phases: stance and swing. Within the swing phase, there’s a subphase unique to running called float or flight.
Stance includes the time when your foot initially makes contact with the ground until the body is over the foot. This is the period of impact and absorption.
As your body travels ahead of your foot, you transition into the swing phase of gait when your foot leaves the ground. Your leg travels forward, flexing at the hip and knee before making contact again.
During this swing phase, there’s a moment during which neither foot is in contact with the ground and your body is floating in the air unsupported. This is called the float stage, and it’s the main difference between a running and walking gait.
What do we look at?
The stance phases of running can be further broken down into the following contact points:
Initial contact is also known as the foot strike. However, there are variances in which part of the foot makes contact with the ground first.
Every person’s gate is unique. Your stance could make initial contact with a heel strike, mid-foot strike, or forefoot strike pattern (3Trusted Source).
During initial contact, your lower limbs and body absorb force as your foot strikes the ground. Ground reaction force — or the force the ground exerts on your body — occurs, causing the greatest amount of impact at this point in the gait cycle.
Biomechanics research has investigated the optimal point of contact with the ground to minimize the impact force on the body. Your ankle and knee muscles primarily dampen the force and protect your joints, but the extent to which this occurs depends on your body’s unique patterns.
After initial contact, the body travels over the foot and leg until it’s relatively directly over the foot, with the knee slightly bent. This is called mid-stance.
At mid-stance, your body transitions from its lowest point, absorbing force toward its highest point to prepare to generate propulsive force. The foot rolls in from a supinated position to a pronated position.
Finally, during the toe-off phase, your body is ahead of your foot. The hip, knee, and ankle joints are extending to propel your body forward.
Consequently, during one limb’s stance phase, the opposite limb is swinging through. The time a limb spends in stance during the gait cycle is approximately 40%. This is shorter than the total of the swing phase.
Included in the full analysis, you'll receive angles, recommendations and mobility/strength exercises to help stay injury free, run as efficiently as possible and identify areas for improvement.