In my last post we discussed some running gait pattern norms. Once again, it is difficult to completely standardize running gait however researchers have been able to set a range of “optimal” angles and loads through extensive observation on runners with and without pain. So now we know that anything deviates TOO MUCH from the closest thing to a standard can produce future problems. For clinicians who want to analyze gait a few recommendation for you would be: educate yourself on running gait normal and abnormal patterns, and strongly consider observing running gait in slow motion or use some of gait analysis system. It is really difficult to see under the naked eye unless you have observed thousands of runners and actually paid attention to mechanics.
Recall what I stated in the first post, “in order to run the athlete has be able to properly absorb shock, demonstrates proper alignment of the lower quarter joint and demonstrates good stability of the trunk, pelvis, knee, and ankle”. Or as I put it “YOU HAVE TO BE FIT TO RUN.”
When analyzing running gait, crucial deviation or faults will be seen during initial contact through all the way through toe off (the period of time one foot is on the ground). With that being said, lets look at the top 5 common running mechanical deviations. This may be helpful to some runners and clinicians who are trying to figure out why the athlete may be experiencing pain.