Monday, December 6, 2010

Gait Analysis - And the Results Are In....

I am beat.  Last day off of my glorious four day weekend...and it was nonstop!  I've been baking pretty much all day and I'm wiped.  Got up bright and early at 5am for bootcamp and it was a toughie.  They've introduced using tires into the routine - yep, tires!  It's actually kinda amazing how you can work out with practically anything and the tires were tough.  We had to hold them above our heads and run up and down a hill and I tell ya...I can feel my arms right now.  After bootcamp I headed home to get showered up/grab some brekkie, and went out to get stuff for my adopted soldier. I bought lots of treats like candies, cookies, chips, etc...and as I stood in line it felt like everyone was looking at what I was buying and thinking "whoa...what a terrible eater!!"  I'm sure they weren't, but I'm just paranoid like that.

After I got everything for my soldier, I toodled off to my gait analysis - I was suuuuupper excited because it's my first step to getting that first marathon under my belt.  It was pretty cool - I went in and the PT who did the analysis did a brief explanation and put all these wireless sensors on my body.  He started off by putting ones on my knees, ankles, hips and legs to get a starting point for how I normally hold my body, and then took the sensors off my knees, ankles and hips and left the rest.  I then did a slow walk on the treadmill and then sped up to an average 10K run pace.  Unfortunately, the poor PT had to do this three times because they had done some work on the computers over the weekend and whoever it was had changed some settings so it would mess up the readings...argh!  Third time was the charm though, and we got the readings.  As we were going through the set up, I told the PT about all my issues so he had an idea of what to look for.

After I got off the treadmill (at this point I was sweating like crazy, as I was running for a long time due to all the technical difficulties!), the PT went over the report with me and it was really, really interesting.  My right side is stiffer and I have a very late pronation - everyone's foot pronates to some degree, and I'm practically out of my stride when my foot pronates.  The big one is that I have extremely weak hip external rotators, which kinda makes sense.  I'm also slightly pigeon-toed in my stride, which probably wouldn't be the case if my hip rotators were strong.  The PT tested this out by having me lie on my back and pushed my leg in and outward while I tried resist.  I had no problem with stopping him from pushing my leg into my body, but when he pushed my leg away - it was like pushing over a feather!  He felt that this is likely the key...strengthening my hips would stop my stride from rotating inward and striking on the outside of my foot - that plus the stiffness and late pronation is all contributing to my right foot issues. The other comment he made that was interesting was that my body type is really flexible (confirms what my regular PT and Mr. Podiatrist Man said), but not naturally very strong and any strength that I did have was built up over time.  So what this means is that I'm naturally a weakling.  Ha!  Do I hear another physical challenge on the horizon?

Anyways, for anyone who is considering a gait analysis, I'd recommend it for sure.  You get a report at the end, so I'm taking that to my regular PT and getting her to work with me next year to strengthen my weak points.  MQ2011, here I come!

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