Soft Tissue Injuries & Running Biomechanics

Soft tissue injuries and running biomechanics have more in common than most runners realise. I get to work with a lot of professional footballers normally after injury or surgery, when they are trying to get back their fitness and improve their speed.

Because of the way footballers train and play they place a lot of strain on their lower abdominals, groin and lower limb muscles, quads and hamstrings. There is also a high volume of hernia repairs.

The one common issue is that if they don’t re-educate their movement patterns after one injury they will inevitably get injured again, probably on the opposite side as soon as they increase the intensity or volume of training.

Recently, I was working with a professional football team in the UK that had 18 of their first team squad of 23 have more than one soft tissue re-injury within 4 weeks of returning to first team training.

Some of the injuries are just bad luck, but quite a few are down to inefficient biomechanics after the original injury.

RUNNING TECHNIQUE ANALYSIS OR RUNNING GAIT ANALYSIS?

Running Training Analysis and Running Gait Analysis is not the same thing, no matter how much the specialist in the shop tries to convince you that it is.

As a runner, whether experienced or inexperienced; whether you’re a recreational runner or an elite sports athlete you have probably been offered the opportunity to have your gait analysed in 10 minutes so you can be fitted with a new pair of running shoes.

Good idea you think as you get knee pain, shin splints, or back pain when you a run, so it would be good to look at the shoes.

Well, before you go and splash out on a new pair of shoes to alleviate your running pains, it would be a good idea to know the difference between running gait analysis and running technique analysis.

RUNNING GAIT ANALYSIS

You visit the shop and the specialist videos your gait from the knee downwards at a slow speed and within 5 minutes tells you that your running technique causes you to pronate, supanate, or is neutral; and then offers a shoe that corrects the problem.

You take the advice, purchase the shoes and carry on running; but the problem is still there.

So you go and see a podiatrist who does a similar analysis and checks your gait from the knee downwards and suggests you need orthotics. Your feet are measured and you are fitted with suitable orthotics, after which you carry on running.

Maybe the pain goes away maybe not.

Either way, you have a hit or miss chance of curing the symptoms of your pain.

RUNNING TECHNIQUE ANALYSIS

The running coach videos your running technique from top to bottom. How the arms are moving, what the torso is doing how the mid-section is responding, how the legs are moving and finally how the feet are landing.

The running coach talks you through the findings and identifies the weaknesses and then starts making corrections to how the body performs the Running Technique to make you run more efficiently.

You practice your technique to see how that would affect the feet landing and then you go and purchase a new pair of shoes.

Running Technique is not about the way your foot lands. It’s about the way your whole body moves!

If you have a problem or you want to get faster you don’t change your shoes you look at what is going on in the whole of the body.

You find and cure the root cause of the symptoms.

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