Gait Analysis

Whew! Have I been busy, so glad it’s the weekend. I need to take some quiet time this weekend. I feel like I haven’t had time to breathe. I had my class yoga class last night and I’m sad, because I really liked the instructor and she won’t be doing another class until September. I am going to sign up for a class with a different instructor, starting in May though. I really love how you can just slow down in yoga when the rest of the world is still flying by.

BREAKFAST

Pumpkin Oatmeal

1/4 c rolled oats
3 tbsp oatbran
2/3 c soy milk
1/3 c water
1/2 c pumpkin
2 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp chia seeds
cinnamon
nutmeg

Toppings:

Almond butter
pumpkin seeds
coconut
maple syrup

LUNCH
Leftovers from last night. This plate contains brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and onion which were lightly sauteed in coconut oil mixed with edamame and quinoa drizzled with EVOO and sprinkled with nutritional yeast.

DINNER
Mixed bean burger on rye toast with ketchup and mustard with a spinach and tomato salad and olives on the side. It was yummy!

So on Wednesday I drove into the city for my 3D Gait Analysis at the Glen Sather Sports Medicine Clinic. I had two PT’s that assessed me. First they measured the strength of all the muscles in my lower limbs with an instrument. Then they measured the range of motion (ROM) of all the joints in my lower limbs. Once they had all these measurements they entered them into their program on the computer along with my age, height, weight, gender, and years of running experience. They have a database of what the normals should be and my measurements are compared to them.
The next part involved them hooking up sensors all around my joints. There are three cameras behind the treadmill, one straight behind and the other two off to the sides on an angle. These cameras take pictures much quicker than regular cameras, so they can catch slight movements not seen by the naked eye. They also provided me with a pair of running shoes with sensors on them. First they had me walk on the treadmill then they bumped the speed up to 6 miles/hour and I ran. I was on the treadmill for probably 5 minutes total. I asked them why so short and they told me from the research it was discovered that if a person has any biomechanical issues they are going to show up right away. After running the computer generates a bunch of information on how my body moves. It goes into quite a bit of detail. They printed off the report which includes graphs and shows you were reduced, average, and excessive or optimal are and then where each of your limbs are. It’s quite interesting to see.
Essentially they are testing four things; Biomechanics, Alignment (which they can’t change), Strength, and Flexibility. These four things make up your injury index. You want your scores closer to 100%. For biomechanics I got 67% and alignment I got 66%. These are average scores, so there not terrible. For strength I got 50%, which can definitely be improved. For flexibility I got 32%, which is terrible. When they entered my measurement of knee flexion, which is quad flexibility, into the computer the computer asked if it was an error. That is how inflexible I am. According to the graph this is where my measurements lie:

Gastrocs- Right is just at the bottom of average above reduced and left is reduced
Soleus- Same as Gastrocs but left is just under average
Ham- Both are average
Quad- Both are reduced
Hip External Rotators- Right is average and left is reduced
Hip Internal Rotators- Both are average
Hip Flexor- Both are optimal
IT Band- Both are reduced
First Ray(big toe)- Both are just under optimal

Of course I want everything to have optimal flexibility, so I have a lot of stretching to do.
For strength most my measurements were in average, but again we want them to be optimal. Heres the breakdown:

Hip Abduction-Right is optimal, left is just under optimal
Hip External Rotation- Both are average
Hip Internal Rotation- Both are average
Hip Flexors- Both are average, but right is closer to optimal
Knee Flexors- Both are reduced
Ankle Inversion- Right is optimal, left is average
Ankle Eversion- Both are average

There is also a graph for the foot complex, knee complex, hip complex, functional outcomes, and alignment.

The PT gave me stretching and strengthening exercises to do based on my results. For the extensor digitorum tendon in my leg she gave me dorsiflexion to do with a theraband. She said to focus on the eccentric (lowering) phase of the exercise, which cause tiny tears in the muscle and tendon promoting quicker healing. I have to do the exercise 3 sets, 20 reps, 3 times a day! She told me I could keep running as long as the pain wasn’t altering my gait, which it hasn’t yet. Of course I had to test my ankle out so I went for a 5km after work with a couple of friends. I felt a bit of pain in my ankle and iced it as soon as I got home. The pain didn’t last because it does feel better. I am hoping that I can overcome this by diligently doing my exercises and stretches everyday. It takes up a lot of extra time so if I haven’t blogged you know what I’m doing. It will be worth it though, that I know for sure.
They did find that my left foot is a bit flatter than the right, so it pronates a bit more. The PT said if it continues to hurt after all this I may want to consider insoles. She also said I can come back in a few weeks to follow up and they can remeasure and test everything to see if I’m making progress.

I am happy with my decision to get the Gait Analysis and with the results. Now I know exactly what I need to work, which can only improve things.

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About richelleludwig

C.H.N. Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant, Cognitive Approach Practitioner
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