College Sports News: Drexel & SCSU Invest In Gait Analysis To Give Runners A Leg Up
Posted by Jenn F. on Wednesday, March 25th, 2015
The equipment doesn’t come cheap: Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) reportedly just spent $95,000 to acquire the high-quality treadmill, and another $20,000 for the three-dimensional cameras necessary to update their human performance lab. That is why you may be hard-pressed to find a fully loaded gait analysis center–even in a large metro area like New York City. The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine is one place you can find state-of-the-art biomechanical analysis equipment geared toward runners and other athletes looking to improve performance and prevent injuries.
Colleges Invest In Gait Analysis
At Southern Connecticut State University, the purpose of the new gait analysis setup is to collect information on healthy long-distance runners to later compare with data from injured runners. They will be monitoring movement in the knees, ankles, and hips for areas of weakness as the athletes run. Michael Simeoli, a graduate student who is working on the project, said he used to run until an ACL injury forced him to stop. “I ultimately want to learn about how we can use the data we collect from our analyses to prevent people from getting hurt in the future by correcting their mechanics and in the meantime put them into a rehabilitation program,” he explained. SCSU joins several other colleges that already have the equipment to perform gait analysis for their athletes.
At Drexel University, runners can stop in to see assistant clinical professor Robert Maschi to receive detailed feedback about their running mechanics. After reviewing video taken from the client’s treadmill run, Maschi provides recommendations on how to alter stride length or step width. Expanded services offered by Drexel will include nutrition and performance counseling, physiological testing, and behavioral health counseling. When it’s considered a “medical necessity,” insurance will often pick up some or all of the $200 tab, according to Drexel NOW.
Injury Prevention & The Role of Gait Analysis
The Wall Street Journal tells the story of two people who were greatly helped by gait analysis. One personal trainer and triathlon coach from Sausalito, California detailed how stress fractures in 2010 and 2013 forced her to take 10 weeks off her regular workouts. She says she wasn’t overtraining, but she was still struggling for unknown reasons. Gait analysis revealed that hyper-mobile hips, knees that pointed inward, and an unstable stride were causing her to land on the insides of her feet. To combat this, her gait analysis running coach recommended that she:
– Run on a treadmill in front of a mirror
– Imagine as if she were running on “narrow railroad tracks”
– Strengthen her gluteal muscles for better knee control
– Shorten her stride
– Speed up her cadence
Since implementing the recommendations, she has completed two more triathlons, a trail race, and a 200-mile relay without incident.
Similarly, a 44-year-old lawyer and triathlete from Freehold, New Jersey sought gait analysis when he found he could no longer run due to intense pain in his proximal hamstring. After gait analysis revealed severe overstriding, he started a program of stretching and strengthening his hip and hamstring muscles and shortened his stride. Today he is pain-free.
Gait Analysis in NYC
We have seen similar success stories here at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. In NYC, you may find shoe stores offering similar services, but our team of sports medicine doctors provide a much more comprehensive experience. We not only give patients a full gait analysis report, but we also offer physical therapy sessions, form coaching, strength training, and acute pain management using MLS laser, extracorporeal shockwave therapy, and injection therapy. When your injury does not respond to conventional therapies, we can take you through the next level of treatment with platelet rich plasma or surgery. Everything you need to diagnose the root cause of your injury, get well, and prevent re-injury is here, all under one roof. Our gait analysis system boasts 5,000 pressure sensors and our trained professionals complete hundreds of assessments for professional and amateur athletes each year with great success, so book your appointment with our friendly staff today.
If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.