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Why Getting a Running and Gait Analysis From Your Aurora Physical Therapy Center Is a Good Idea

October 19, 2020

As a runner, you know that your stride sets your pace and controls your stamina throughout every run. When it’s great, you’re able to keep up your pace for long periods of time without taxing your body. When it’s less than ideal, your gait can leave you struggling to hit your times and keeps you from being able to go those long distances you used to handle with ease. Believe it or not, your gait can change as you age and as your muscles develop after you’ve established your running habit. By getting a gait or running analysis from your trusted Denver physical therapy provider, you’ll be better equipped to understand and address those changes for the long run. Here are a few key reasons why getting a running analysis is a great idea for both amateur and semi-professional runners of all skill levels.

Identifies Potential Problems
When you undergo a running analysis, you’ll run in front of an experienced physical therapist that knows what the human body is supposed to look like at all paces. They’ll ask you to run on a treadmill and will analyze how you run. Through that analysis, they’ll be able to identify certain parts of your stride that may cause problems down the line. This allows you to prioritize your training and make adjustments to avoid problems before they have a chance to develop. Over time and over the course of your running career, you’ll be able to improve and avoid injuries that other runners might succumb to.

Helps You Find the Right Shoes
There’s a lot to be said for running shoes. They control the amount of impact your muscles experience during each footfall and can reduce or cause pain the longer you run. Unfortunately, many runners end up choosing the wrong shoes for their running style, body, gait, or foot type and that can lead to serious problems down the line. The last thing you want to do is be in so much pain that you have to give up the sport you love. Part of your running analysis will involve looking closely at the shoes you wear on your runs and making sure they’re the right fit for your stride. If they’re not, your therapist will be able to assess the way your foot lands with each step and make the appropriate recommendations to help you find the best shoe possible. 

Pinpoints Your Weak Areas
Every runner has things they need to improve on. This helps them increase their pace, stamina, and avoid pain. When you’re running on your own, you may be able to identify certain weak points and make the necessary adjustments to improve them, but you won’t be able to seem everything at once. This makes it hard to fully improve your gait and your running style. When you schedule a running analysis, you’ll be able to pinpoint where your weaknesses lie. Even better, you’ll be able to use their knowledge to identify the exact exercises that will help you strengthen your weak areas so you can be a better and healthier runner in the long run.

Lets You Know What You’re Doing Right
Many running analysis appointments focus almost entirely on what you’re doing wrong and what you need to improve. Though those are important factors, you also need to know what you’re doing right so you can keep doing it on all of your runs. During a professional running analysis, you’ll find out exactly what you’re doing that’s working for your body and find ways to make sure you don’t alter those movements when you address the weaknesses in your gait. This can make a huge difference when you’re trying to maintain or improve your pace. 

Helps You Break Through Plateaus
If you’ve been running for a while, you’ve likely encountered at least a few plateaus on your journey. Plateaus happen when you can’t seem to improve your pace, your gait, your stride length, or your general performance when you run. And they can happen without warning. If you’ve ever burst through a plateau on your own, you know just how hard it can be. When you schedule a running analysis, you’ll have an expert working to help you overcome those plateaus quickly. With their analysis and advice, you’ll find out what you can do to make improvements even if you feel like you’ve been stuck for months. Sometimes, all it takes is an outside perspective to find a different way to help you improve.

Improves Your Time
If you’re a competitive runner, you know that the clock matters. When you can increase your pace, you’ll edge out the competition and place higher in every race. On your own, you may find that improving your time is almost impossible. You’re limited to making the changes that you can identify. With a running analysis, you’ll be able to leverage someone else’s experience to improve your time and make a huge difference in your performance.

Reduces the Risk of Injury 

Nothing derails a running career like an injury. Unfortunately, injuries can happen when you least expect them and when they do, it can take months for you to fully recover. That means months that you’ll have to stop running and, worse, months of progress that you’ll lose by being less active. When you work with a running analyst, you’ll identify the movements that you need to change to avoid injury in the long run. This means you’ll be on the road more often and won’t have to worry about spending months on the couch dreaming about your next run.

Schedule an Analysis Today
Your running career is important whether you race or just do it because you love the feel of the wind in your face. Make sure you can enjoy the sport for years to come. Contact us to schedule a running analysis today and let our experts show you what you can do to improve your gait, lengthen your stride, and reduce your risk of injury so you can keep pounding the pavement without pain.