The warm weather is starting to become more consistent which means the running season has arrived. Whether you are new to running, recreational runner or an elite runner Sheddon can help you stay injury free this summer and help you run more efficiently. Here at Sheddon we have many therapists that have experience working with runners as well as being avid runners themselves. The hope is to assess your running style and use different tools to prevent an injury before it happens. Your therapist will perform a gait analysis to analyze your stride length, foot strike and assess muscle imbalances. Through manual therapy and strengthening exercises we will have you running in tip top shape this summer!
What is gait analysis?
Gait analysis checks for irregularities in your stride and muscle imbalances in your body by watching you walk and run, with and without shoes. Patients are recorded from a side view and posterior view to gather as much information as possible. A brief run on the treadmill with and without shoes lets us know if it might be a good idea for you to consider adapting your cadence and footstrike to run efficiently and injury free. The video is an opportunity to watch yourself running so that you can understand how you run. You will be able to see if you are a heel striker or run on the ball of your foot (forefoot striker), if your stride is longer or shorter and if there is an appropriate amount of hip sway.
Importance of new shoes
The type of shoes you are wearing will also have a large effect on how you are running and preventing injuries. It is important to update your footwear. All shoes have a certain amount of kilometers you can run in them before the midsole starts to break down. The midsole is part of the shoe that gives you the ‘springy’ feel everytime you push off. If this is worn down then it will require more energy for every stride that you take. The midsole also absorbs shock when you strike the ground. Older shoes do not absorb the shock as well which leads to the bones and muscles taking the brunt of it. This can lead to plantar fasciitis and shin splints.
Different shoes for different feet
Believe it or not there are MANY different shoe types out there and navigating which is the best for you can be a difficult task. Everyone has a different foot width, arch height and stability in their foot. Some of these variables, like foot and ankle stability, we can train to get stronger but others we cannot, which is why finding the right shoe is so important. Someone with a higher arch will need a more cushioned shoe, a neutral arch will be good in a neutral running shoe (which is the majority of the ones found in stores) but someone with a flatter foot or lower arch will need something with more support.
Buying the right shoe for you can be a difficult task so let the experts at Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic help you out. If you would like to know how efficient your gait is or curious as to know what the best footwear is for you contact us at (905)849-4576 and follow us on instagram @sheddonphysio!