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Gait Analysis: Should I? Must I?

By Mr Jared Green - Musculoskeletal Podiatrist

Gait Analysis

When I was asked to write a short article on the necessity of gait analysis and my approach to it, I have to admit I found it quite daunting and a challenging task to explain.

What exactly is gait analysis and do you as a runner /sportsperson need it? Clearly many people and professions offer it, so what is the difference and why do prices vary so greatly for this service?

To answer these questions one needs to think of the human body as a machine. Just like a machine has mechanical features; the human body has biomechanical characteristics.

One of the many tools used to help discern these characteristics is gait analysis:
“The systematic study of human motion.”

Subsequently it is not a question of whether you need gait analysis but rather do you need a biomechanical review?

Unfortunately the two terms are often used synonymously, however this could not be farther from the truth.

To help explain: bear with me as I wander back nineteen years to when I was a freshly qualified podiatrist.

In the beginning I was always taught; biomechanics is based on science but it is implemented like an art. I found this concept difficult to accept. Clearly no human replicates a textbook but surely if the artist is lacking, well the science is out the window. Then came the inadequate evidence directly relating to my profession; what was the efficacy of orthoses and functional footwear? What scientific rationale warranted the use of theses devices? Yes, patients often reported good outcomes. But why?

The quest began. After watching countless amounts of gait footage and having fantastic patients willing to allow me to experiment and trial ideas. A greater understanding dawned and I developed my SYMMETRY system.
Just like a machine, we want all our parts working in harmony to create one outcome.

We want Symmetry.

Symmetry in power, Symmetry in strength, Symmetry in stability and Symmetry in flexibility, ultimately Symmetry in motion.

In so doing we will reduce injury and improve performance.

So now when you think of gait analysis it is not merely about terms such as pronation or supination, it is about the asymmetry allowing those movements to occur.

That asymmetry can lead to injury and it can lead to decreased performance and fatigue.

Using The SYMMETRY System to analyze your biomechanics it is possible to identify:
1) The injury /fatiguing structures
2) The abnormal biomechanics that have caused it.
3) The reason for the abnormal biomechanics

These three points are then treated individually and usually involve a multidisciplinary approach.

So what about all the other gait analysis offers out there?

Well, as a matter of good practice, I refer all my running patients to appropriate running stores. A store that deals with sport and not fashion: salespeople who actually run and have a passion and knowledge for it.

Having the correct footwear prescribed is one of the key steps in helping deal with point 2 in the SYMMETRY system.

What about high-end motion sensor and 3d gait analysis? Once again, depending on the level of sportsperson or severity of injury, further in-depth analysis may be required if other analytics cannot find the reason for point 3 in the SYMMETRY system.

I hope I have done this article justice and helped answer some questions that you as an athlete may have had.

In the end, gait analysis is not the be all and end all of improving your running goals; it is merely a tool used to develop an over all biomechanical picture: an instrument to help discover where your functional abnormalities lie.

Visit the Spire Gatwick Park Hospital stand at Run Reigate on 15th September for your free mini biomechanical and gait analysis with musculoskeletal podiatrist, Mr Jared Green (available until 12 midday). The first 50 people will also benefit from a free chill bottle. If you miss Jared on the day, he is offering all Run Reigate entrants 10% discount on a full assessment, this can be booked through the Physiotherapy department at Gatwick Park Hospital on 01293 778951.

Compressed Gait

#RunAsOne #RunReigate2019

Run Reigate Half Marathon 10k 5k Races

Latest Event Update

It is with a heavy heart that due to the ongoing uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic we are announcing that it will not be possible for Run Series to deliver any of our physical events this year – this includes Run Gatwick, Run Reigate and Ride Reigate.

Although not altogether unexpected, this is disappointing for everyone involved. However, our priority, regardless of this pandemic, has always always been for the safety and wellbeing of you the runners as well as our volunteers, partners, charities, staff, supporters and the wider community without any of whom our events would just not be possible. Given that there remains vast uncertainty on how to best safely move forwards we do not feel it would be practically possible, or socially responsible, for us to stage these events this year and deliver a safe, fun and enjoyable experience for all.

This decision has been made in consultation with all local authorities who right now are also unable to guarantee availability of event venues. So what happens now? ​All runners and riders currently registered for our 2020 events will be​ automatically transferred to our 2021 events​ and so there is no action for you to take at this stage. We are working with the local authorities and event venues to finalise the 2021 dates and we will announce these very soon. For further details on transfers and deferrals etc, please take a look at our Q&As. We value your opinion.​ We have been thinking about some exciting things we could potentially do for our runners and cyclists in the coming months until we can once again safely host our large scale events. We’d love your input to make sure we’re on the right track so please complete our short survey below. To say thank you for taking part, you’ll be in with a chance to win one of 3 fantastic top-to-toe On Running kits worth over approx. £300​! We very much look forward to when we can all race again and come together with confidence and lighter hearts doing what we do best – Running as One. Until then we would like to say a very heartfelt thank you for your continued support throughout this time, your ongoing understanding is greatly appreciated.

David Kelly, Race Director on behalf of the whole Run Series Team.

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POSTPONEMENT Q&A's

We appreciate there will be lots of questions and we have tried to pre-empt those with a detailed Q&A’s which you can find here

In the unlikely situation that you cannot find the answer to your query, please email us at info@runseries.co.uk​. Due to a reduced working team we will do our very best to respond to your query within 5 working days.

Why did you decide to postpone the 2020 races to 2021?

We considered many alternative approaches to try and safely deliver Run Gatwick, Run Reigate and Ride Reigate with appropriate social distancing measures. However, after careful consideration, we made the difficult decision to postpone all mass participation events to 2021. Our decision was rooted in the best interests for the health and wellbeing of runners, supporters, volunteers, sponsors, suppliers and all those involved in making the running of these events possible. In addition the continued uncertainty over government guidelines for events significantly reduces the window of time needed to plan and deliver safely our full event experience.

Will my registered place for my event still hold for 2021?

Yes, your entry for your 2020 event will be valid for the 2021 race and will be automatically transferred over to the new date (date still TBC), you do not need to do anything else, we will contact you nearer to the event with all the usual information.

Is there a refund option available for these events?

Organising our event requires a considerable amount of forward planning and expense – and entry fees are used to support these costs, many of which are incurred long before event day. Your entry fees doesn’t only cover on the day costs like road closures, barriers, medals, t-shirts, Policing, medical provision, etc – they also help to cover the up front planning costs which include staff wages, risk assessments, safety measures, consultation with local businesses, supplier fees and licences – to name but a few. For these reasons the Run Series refund policy for all of our events has always been the same, we do not and cannot offer refunds. This is made clear in our ​terms and conditions​ ​– which all runners agree to upon registration.

What if I can’t make the new event date?

As soon as we are able to, we will announce our 2021 dates. If you are unable to make the new date, you will be able to defer your place to the following year, transfer to another of our events or transfer your place to another participant. All of these options will be free of charge.

What happens if my place was allocated by a charity partner?

As your charity place belongs to your charity, any decision about your place must be made by them. Details regarding the potential reallocation of charity places should be discussed with the relevant charity partner directly.

What will happen to the Run Gatwick England Athletics National Championships and Sussex Athletics Championships?

The 2021 Run Gatwick event will retain Championship status for both Sussex Athletics and England Athletics and all elite places will automatically have their entry deferred to the new 2021 event as detailed by Run Series in the coming weeks.

Will there be a virtual event instead?

We are currently exploring options and invite you to complete our survey and have your say. We will take on board your comments and make an announcement regarding this as soon as possible.

When announced, are the 2021 event dates guaranteed?

As much as we would like to, we cannot offer you certainty around rescheduled event dates as there are just too many factors out of our control. In a world that is changing so rapidly on a daily basis, the future is far from certain but we will do our best to honour our commitment to you and deliver a fantastic event experience in line with the government regulations in place at the time.

What happens with my iTAB/PacePocket order?

Your iTab/Pace Pocket order will be carried over to your 2021 event entry.