Gait analysis – is it neccessary?

Although in another post I gave advice and wanted to keep it generic – in relation to the types of running shoes available and their uses, I now want to steer away from it!

In that post I touched on types of shoes; cushioning, stability and motion control and also different types of feet; low arches, high arches and neutral arches.  The information I gave followed the chain of thought; ‘if you have a certain type of arch then you must have a certain type of trainer to counter act all of the bad consequences of it’.

I now want you to consider the age old question; ‘if it aint broke, why fix it?’.  Regardless of what type of arch you have, or how your foot lands when you run, if it doesn’t cause you problems or injury, then why alter it?

Recently, there seems to be a phase that runners go through, and then pass on to other runners, that you are not a proper runner unless you have had a gait analysis – This is where you visit a local sports store and are put a treadmill and filmed whilst you run.  You then watch the video back in super slow motion and review how your foot lands and subsequently how it rolls.  If you don’t ‘land and roll’ like the text book says you should do, then you are given different types of trainers (motion control, stability or cushioning) and the process is repeated until you ‘land and roll’ exactly how a scientist somewhere says you should do.  Quite often you will hear fancy terms like ‘over-pronate’ or ‘supinate’ – and before long you are fully badged as an over-pronator and can go and tell all of your friends.  Then you will be shown a really flash pair of trainers that can cure this for you!!  Of course, they will cost a fortune, but you will then be able to run like you always dreamed and everything will be alright!!

So, you’ve been badged as a pronator or supinator or neutral foot, and have your sparkly new trainers that are going to fix the world, and off you go for a run.  After a few months you will probably start to get pain or injury and nobody will be able to get to the bottom of what it is or why you get it!!

Could the answer be, that these fancy new shoes are forcing the foot to do something that it doesn’t want to do and isn’t able to do and is putting pressure on the tendons and ligaments in the feet… that then cause aches and pains in the calves… that consequently cause problems with your hamstrings… that pull your hip out of alignment… that make you have a bad back…that makes you see a chiropractor…who can’t find the cause!!

Now, going back to the original problem…why is it a problem???

If you are able to run from A to B and don’t have any problems, what is the problem??

If you would like to strengthen and develop your arches however, to be able to be a more able and competent runner then here are a few tips and exercises!

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