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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Martin

RUNNING SHOP GAIT ANALYSIS - BE CAREFUL (they are there to sell you shoes not fix your injuries).


Case 1

Yesterday evening (now a few weeks ago) I had an appointment with a young lady who has been getting lateral (outside) knee pain which had gotten progressively worse over a year. But significantly so after purchasing some new running shoes in the hope of fixing the problem.

She had an IN STORE VIDEO GAIT ANALYSIS done and they recommend her an expensive pair of running shoes based on a simplified belief that because she lands on the outside of her foot she must then over-pronate. So therefore a shoe with arch support.

MY VIDEO GAIT ANALYSIS showed equally that she landed on the outside of her foot but I looked at the whole body picture and she was over striding and over rotating. Meaning that she was crossing an imaginary centre line that should be between the feet, and consequently she did not over-pronate but remained on the outside of her foot. This also meant that the leg was angled diagonally across under the body putting an excessive strain on the ITB (iliotibial band) which was causing her knee pain. Some run technique modifications, some ball squats done properly, a step up with drive through and some travelling lunges followed by an ITB stretch resulted in a happy customer.

And this is by no means the first time I have had this with clients who have had in shop gait analysis.

Below me demonstrating over-striding with some over rotating in the torso.

UPDATE: I am pleased to say that having followed my recommendations in between sessions and having had a couple of 1 to 1 sessions working on exercises to improve her areas of weakness this young lady is now running without knee pain. And reports that whilst it first felt uncomfortable to run with the modifications to her technique it has become much more natural.

Case 2

So this time one of my clients showed me a report from a IN STORE VIDEO GAIT ANALYSIS that his friend had done. So I haven't even seen this individual.

So this report showed a still photo of each foot landing on the treadmill (point of contact) and below each photo was a little picture which indicated which part of the foot landed first. There were presumably pressure pads under where the foot struck the surface. These little pictures indicated that on his left foot the inside of his heel struck the ground first and the conclusion was that he mildly pronated. HOWEVER the picture of where his right foot applied pressure on landing suggested that the weight was on the outside of his heel and the conclusion was that he severely overpronated.


And this is why my client sought my advice.

Well just from the photos at point of contact for both feet I could see that both feet were externally rotated (toes pointing out). This suggests that the individual in question probably over pronates on both feet just to different extents because the starting point is different. If your feet are tuned out and your knee wants to travel forwards (because that is the direction you are running) the knee doesn't flex very well side ways so your ankle does causing over pronation (the arch of your foot flattening out). Without doing my own analysis I can't state anything for certain. However the differences in the landing pressure could be down to a number of things but most likely is that there is a significant difference in stride length between the two legs. Either due to a restriction or exaggeration in torso rotation or a restriction in the range of hip flexion/extension on one side.

My conclusion is that Video Gait Analysis is pointless unless there is postural analysis of your running as well. Only once you have addressed the postural issues that are having an impact on your running can you consider whether or not you need specific shoes.

If you live or work in the Clacton or Colchester area and would like advice then initially email and we can look at booking a 1 to 1. Or you could save some money and attend my upcoming Run Clinic on the 19th November for info

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