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Sunday, January 09, 2011

Analyzing Gait

Yesterday I spent 3 hours at the Coast Guard Health fair with Pauline H. analyzing running gaits. This was the first year I have ever done this, and it turned out well! There were around 20 people who had signed up prior to the fair, and they showed up with running shoes in hand. I did the video taping at the back of the gym-people ran down and back across the back wall. I brought our home computer and we downloaded the footage into Imovie--where I could do slo-mo.

People were fascinated by watching themselves run. Pauline and I would look at their arm swing, where they were planting their feet, stride length, vertical rise and lean of their body forward. All but 1 or 2 people took our words of advice to heart--and were appreciative for the chance to improve their gait. Many of the people who came don't currently have any pain or discomfort with running, but wanted to learn how to prevent pain and be more efficient. Its refreshing to work with people who are looking to prevent pain-as often in our society people don't address problems until there is significant pain.

I videotaped Pauline running and she videotaped me running. It is VERY painful to watch myself run...I look so clumsy and clunky. Oh well. Its always a work in progress, right?!

Pauline and I agreed that people run differently in the gym than they would outside after they are warmed up. Next time, to make it more accurate, we decided that doing it outside and after people were really warmed up would be more accurate. People's stride changes as they run.

Doing the analysis with Pauline was so fun--she has such great energy. There were several people who had nearly "perfect" gait...where few or almost no recommendations were made. These folks were pleased as well to see that they should continue doing what they're doing.

I look forward to doing more running clinics in the future...on the coast guard base and at my clinic with Pauline. We decided that we would probably do something on the track and run with folks and give input to people as they run so they can try and feel the changes we are suggesting. That way they can walk (or run) away with practice of what changes to make.

The footage is of Pauline and I on our test runs...You'll notice in Paulines that she has a short stride length and her body lands right over her foot, as opposed to swinging her front leg way far out. This was by far the most common "error" we saw in people (including myself!).


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