Gait Analysis And The Tool's Importance In Injury Prevention

This week I was fortunate enough to become one of the first people to try out Moti Cardiff's new Asics Running Zone gait analysis machine, at their store located in Queen's Arcade in Cardiff. The purpose of gait analysis for those who haven't had it done before, is with the use of a running machine, a camera/ recording equipment and analytical computer tools to record and analyse your running gait. Gait itself in this context, is the way in which your body moves biomechanically during an exercise such as running, and the way that you make contact with and impact the ground. This is important information to find out, whether you're active or not. But gait analysis becomes particularly important to runners, when you consider that on average, when running you put upto 3-4 times your bodyweight through your feet/  joints/ bones/ muscles and tendons. Which means that if you're running or landing in an incorrect position, then that additional force impacts negatively on the body and can lead to injuries.

Asics Running Zone - Gait Analysis

To help correct this issue many runners have regular gait analysis' done, so as to try and counteract a negative gait pattern with the use of supportive trainers. Whilst at Moti, and so as to look at and analyse my running gait without any type of bias, I was asked to pop on some socks and to run for a minute or so in a neutral pair of trainers. The reason that the trainers must be neutral and also new, is that if the shoes were to have an inbuilt correction system or technology inside them, we wouldn't be able to see my gait movement clearly and identify what support I might need. Whilst I ran, Ieuan from Moti video recorded me, this enabled us to be able to analyse my gait together ,using the store's computer technology. I've had a gait analysis done before, but the team at Moti made me feel relaxed and comfortable enough to focus on my running. And although the Asics Running Zone was new, the team were well trained and knew what they were doing during the process.

Me Running During My Gait Analysis

Bringing the image up on screen, we were able to clearly see that when my feet hit the running machine surface, the foam sole of the neutral trainer that I was initially wearing was collapsing inwards, causing my ankle to roll inwards- which is not what we wanted to see. This movement is known as overpronation and whilst a little pronation or rolling inwards is a natural biomechanical occurrence, this amount of overpronation could cause long term problems for me. I've mentioned before that I've had tendinitis in both of my achilles in the past, so correcting my over-pronation will help me put my achilles under less strain whilst running and hopefully help with injury prevention.

Gait Analysis Computer Software

With these results in mind, Ieuan from Moti then asked me to try a series of different shoes that varied in the amount of 'support' each style of shoe provided. We tried different brands sold at the store including Asics, Mizuno, New Balance and Saucony. Each style of trainer contained different technology to help counteract my overpronation using different support systems. This is often done using a supportive upper to the shoe that 'locks' the foot position in place, to prevent the rocking and rolling that we were seeing in my initial gait analysis. With them also putting technology into the sole, for example, that acts as a door wedge might. So that when the foot tries to roll over during the overpronation action, the wedge prevents the foot from being able to do this, thus keeping the ankle and lower limbs in biomechanical alignment.

Ieuan Helping Me With The 'Lock Laces' Technique For Shoe Tying

Gradually increasing the levels of support in a trainer  in order to reach the right level to prevent the overpronation is important because too much support can lead to blisters or even injury. That's why it's great to get the help from specialists. As I tested the trainers with increasing levels of support on the treadmill, my overpronation started to become less pronounced. Until Ieuan was able to draw a lovely straight line from the base of the shoe and my heel, up through my achilles and calves. The shoes that were best for me were the new Asics GT 3000 so I look forward to giving those a go and blogging about them. You can get gait analysis from a range of places on the high street, and the price can vary from free to £10. I chose Moti because of the range of brands that are stocked at the store and because I appreciated the fact that experienced sports people would be conducting my gait analysis. If you'd like to take a look at their range online, Moti have kindly provided an online discount code...

Discount Code- DISCOUNTOFF10


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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