Prehab not Rehab: Gait Analysis at Pace Prehab & Recovery

Gait analysis has always been associated with choosing the right shoes or identifying causes of existing or recurring injury.

For Pace Prehab & Recovery, analyzing and understanding running gait is about movement assessment.  – Uses a versatile and wearable sensor system called a Dorsa Vi. It is comprised of two mobile sensors which capture the different parameters during an individuals running or gait cycle.

Devices are attached to the legs.
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I was asked to run on the treadmill on a 2 minute – jog pace, 2 minute – run pace and 1 minute- sprint pace while it captures the data as I run.

The test captures my GRF or Ground Reaction Force, Average Ground Contact Time and Average Cadence. The program then computes for the ASI or asymmetric index of my left and right legs. This highlights any muscular imbalances that might be present during my gait cycle.

 Francis Diano explaining the results of my first test. Failed! 🙂 My personal opinion:  What is good about the gait analysis, there is no right or wrong, it is your running gait, anyway.  – there are potentials! Potential improvements.

On top of the data that was captured, the program also uses 2 high speed cameras that record at 240 fps which allows the tester to visually assess the runners form and compare it to the captured data. This visual information that is captured is invaluable and is then used to further identify asymmetrical deficiencies and inefficiencies.

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My left leg is over striding and not bending (is too rigid) as it lands causing me to strike strongly on my heel.  This explains the lower GRF and reduced cadence.  The landing causes an imbalance which affects my overall running economy. Ideally, the center of my left foot should land on the red line for a more centered and injury free landing.

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Another effect of the identified imbalance is the presence of a left hip to drop. This kind of repetitive stress can cause an irritation of my left IT Band. Furthermore, my knee internally rotates and my left foot excessively pronates.

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The landing on my right is more stable.  However, my body is a bit steep.  Instead of my upper body just going with the fall (natural gravity from running) or forward leaning, I keep a very upright posture and my hand are swinging a bit higher and unrelaxed.  This causes excessive opposing motions.

With the use of DorsaVi system and their knowledge of pain, pathology, biomechanics and motor learning Francis identified changes that could help me as an athlete.  In my case, he mentioned that ideally, I should not be wearing shoes which are almost zero drop but I have ran distances on it so he prefers not to change it.  He recommended activation exercises to stimulate and facilitate the firing of the stabilizers in my hips and legs. As for the running, I was encouraged to take shorter strides and increase my cadence to minimize my overstriding.

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An improvement in ones running gait also improves ones running economy and ensures a comfortable run.

Since I was preparing for a 50K road ultramarathon in two weeks after the gait analysis, he recommended doing activation exercises everyday even when I am not running.  It only took about 5 minutes so I like it.  He also recommended that I use a metronome to facilitate auditory cueing and running at 165 beats per minute.

I ran the 50K run, a comeback road ultramarathon after two years and felt pretty okay after.  The nagging pain on my right hips occurred each time I lengthen my stride on my left.  I had to make a conscious effort to shorten my stride, relax my shoulders and increase my cadence. Sans the lack of training, I felt fresh after and was still able to compete in a short 100 meter sprint relay with friends. I bagged the top position in my age group as well.

After a week of recovery, I went back to PACE for my second consultation.

Francis asked me to run again on a 2-minute jog pace, 2min-run pace and 1-min sprint pace.  The evaluation showed an improvement from my first consultation.

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I then proceeded with a 20-minute workout with their Physical Therapist.   I have been doing the workout (even on days when I miss my run workout/training).

Being more conscious about the inefficiencies in my gait, I was able to address it as I ran my 80K Road Ultramarathon.  I had the metronome tone running in my head to ensure I keep my stride smooth and short.  I conquered Mayon 360 and finished still feeling strong at 11:46, 8th female.

The workout also helped in activating and loosening up my hips for the more difficult race ahead – the TNF100 50K category.  I survived!

They say do not fix it when it is not broken.  Based on my experience, it is better to fix it before it breaks. 

This review is based on the personal availment of the services by Tin Ferrera.  We are sharing it to help runners have an understanding of Pace Prehab & Recovery’s Gait Analysis service.

ABOUT PACE PREHAB & RECOVERY

PACE is a world class sports medicine clinic. It advocates being proactive with conditioning, training, and biomechanics; assessing each individual athlete’s physical condition and taking steps to prevent injury and improve performance.   PACE Prehab & Recovery is located on the 16th Floor MDI Corporate Center, 10th Avenue cor. 39th Street, Bonifacio Global City. Call for more info at +639156783600 or visit their websitepaceprehabandrecovery.com.

Pace Prehab & Recovery is one of the major sponsors of Cardimax-Clark Ultramarathon.  As one of our major sponsors, runners are entitled to 10% discount from all their services.  Registered Runners will also get the chance to win free recovery sessions and gait analysis from Pace.  Please follow us on facebook.com/clarkultramarathon and instagram/clarkultramarathon for contest announcement and updates.

 

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