I’ve recently implemented a small gait analysis lab into Kentucky Sports Chiropractic. As I stated in a previous post, determining what kind of gait you have is imperative for successful injury prevention. Using a treadmill, specific lighting, and a high speed camera allows us to film a runner’s gait, then watch in ultra slow motion for asymmetry and/or biomechanical deficiencies while running.
To test out the new office addition, I decided to use myself as a guinea pig considering I have a significant history of overuse injuries in my left leg. The results were pretty surprising to me. Watch the initial video below and see if you can pick out what’s going on in my gait.
Pay close attention to the angle of my waist line when each leg strikes the ground. You’ll notice that when my right leg hits, my waist line and hips are completely level, this is optimal. However when my left leg strikes the ground, my waistline and hip slope down towards my right side. This is a classic example of having weak abductor muscles. For the runner, abductor muscles (specifically the gluteus medius) work to stabilize the hips and evenly distribute stress and impact throughout our lower extremities when striking the ground. If the hip stabilizers are weak and/or not functioning correctly (like with me!), an overuse injury will inevitably occur as a result of the lack of stability.
To correct this, I’ve started a specific exercise regimen that targets core stability and hip abductors. We’ll reassess my gait in a few weeks to see the improvements.