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Runners: Is it Time To Improve Your Form with a Running Gait Video Assessment?

If you are an avid runner, you probably know that when you run, your body is absorbing shock over and over again when your foot strikes the ground. In truth, it’s not just your foot that is absorbing all the shock. Shock absobtions starts at the foot and can be transmitted up the kinetic chain. The mechanics of your running—or how you run—has a huge impact on the rate and types of injuries you may endure. A runner with an abnormal or inefficient running action is more likely to suffer injury than someone with good mechanics.


Biomechanics, or the study of how your body moves during certain activities, such as running, play a huge part in your overall running success, as well as injury prevention. The tricky part is that when you are running you can’t see if all the pieces of your body are working together, normally, or not. A video analysis, also known as a Running Gait Analysis, administered by a physical therapist can teach you a lot about your form.


When a video analysis is used to access your running form, your physical therapist will be looking at many areas to see if they are operating efficiently. You can expect to get feedback about:

  • ankle, knee and hip mechanics

  • pelvis and trunk mechanics

  • foot mechanics

  • upper body and arm mechanics

How Does Video Running Gait Assessment Work?


You will be videoed while running from different angles and planes. The video will then be analyzed in slow motion, using still frames and frame by frame motion assessment. Slowing down the video allows your physical therapist to determine how each joint is moving while you’re running and how the muscles throughout your whole body are working to control the joint movements. The video will also compare both sides of your body’s movement—comparing one side to the other to pick out any asymmetries and any motions that are abnormal. Your motions are measured by comparing them to “normative” values.


Your physical therapists knowledge and expertise is vital in evaluating your gait pattern to identify abnormal movement patterns, alignment and gait deviations.  They can then make corrections, provide exercises, stretches and running drills to enhance efficiency and improve your running gait pattern.

What Insight Can Be Gained From a Video Analysis?


By analyzing how you move while you run, your physical therapist can provide you with insight into:

  • how you can decrease the stress to the injured area (if you are feeling pain)

  • what kinds of specific gait retraining strategies will make your running more efficient (even if you’re not experiencing pain)

  • providing you with targeted exercises and stretches

  • hands-on manual therapy to help you run more efficiently and with less pain

  • if you are at risk of developing injuries in the future if you continue to run using the same movements and patterns

  • avoid re-injury

What Kinds of Runners Should Have a Running Gait Analysis?


Because running video gait assessments combine the latest clinical and academic knowledge in running, you will get a 100% customized analysis of the way you run. The runners who will benefit most from a running video gait assessment include:


  • runners who have had an injury or combination of past injuries

  • runners who are frustrated because the standard diagnosis they received for their running pain does not seem to be addressing the root cause of their pain

  • runners who love running and want to ensure that their running form today is not going to lead to injuries in the future

  • runners who want to run faster and more efficiently, and who want to see precisely what could be modified in their running form to achieve better results

Would you like to receive insights into your running and get personalized recommendations on your form and motion? If so, please contact Paspa Physical Therapy today to talk with a physical therapist on staff.

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