Running has always been a popular sport worldwide. It helps our body in enhancing our health and fitness, however, it is also associated with high-risk injury. According to a study, out of all the types of aerobic exercises, running is associated with the highest prevalence of overuse of injuries on the lower limb.
Running injuries just don’t happen in a snap, it’s an accumulation of stresses placed on the body like nutrition, training volume, and also intrinsic ones such as age and other health conditions. These factors affect the performance of runners. That’s why Physical Therapists developed a Running Assessment to help them identify the forces placed on a runner and to also identify potential causes that affect kinematic patterns and aggravating symptoms.
If you’re a runner, and you want to improve your technique and form, or perhaps have a balance issue and need to improve your gait then a thorough Running Assessment is what you need. Running and gait assessments are used as a way to figure out how gait efficiency can be increased, in order to improve overall performance and reduce your risk of injury.
The Running Assessment is mainly used by athletes, especially runners who have been injured and need to get back into the sport. This is also useful for those looking to improve their form and physical performance. It can be used by everyone but before doing so, a thorough evaluation is needed.
This assessment can evaluate several parts of your body at once, such as pelvic control, base support, foot strike, and vertical displacement. The running assessment would usually take about 60 minutes with an experienced and licensed Physical Therapist. Every minute counts since your PT will take your medical history and talk about your running goals. They will do a physical exam to assess your muscular weaknesses and tightness.
Some would even have you run on a treadmill for a few minutes at different speeds while they observe you. Physical Therapists will then ask for your consent and take a recording of your physique specifically your side and back. This gives your Physical Therapist the recording that they need in order to pinpoint which areas are at risk for sustaining an injury and also to see which ones need improvement.
After that assessment, the Physical Therapist will discuss the analysis with you and also spend time discussing your shoes and footwear in general. Yes, footwear is part of your assessment and overall program since it’s the most important gear that you’ll use in running. Then, the Physical Therapist will develop a program just for you that you work on for the next 6 weeks or depending on your condition.
The goal of the running assessment is that you will have a thorough understanding of proper running posture, footwear, and progression as they relate to your condition. Follow-up sessions are a must to evaluate your condition. These sessions include corrective exercises that will prevent injuries and keep you running pain-free.
If you need any assistance in your running, feel free to contact us here.