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Running Analysis Program

According to North American Seminars Inc. and the British Journal of Sports Medicine, nearly 37.8 million people run for exercise each year. This includes just over 500,000 marathon finishers, with an average age of 38. Up to 65 percent of runners experience an injury annually. If training for a marathon, this number can be as high as 90 percent.

Up to 60 percent of running injuries can be attributed to correctable training errors. These injuries are often directly related to poor body mechanics caused by inefficient gait, improper landing patterns, incorrect footwear, improper training schedules or muscle imbalances. Fortunately, all of these can be prevented with the right instruction.

ValleyCare Physical and Sports Medicine is offering a running evaluation for runners of all skill levels. Biomechanical analysis, in combination with a brief musculoskeletal assessment, can be used to prevent and address many injury and performance issues.

Evaluations are performed by a licensed physical therapist. Whether you are an avid/experienced runner or a beginner/novice looking to begin running without injury or complication, this program can help.

Sessions Include

The initial 60-minute session includes the following:

  • Biomechanical assessment
  • Slow-motion video running analysis
  • Individualized running instruction
  • Footwear assessment and recommendations
  • Musculoskeletal screening—strength, flexibility, balance
  • Postural/alignment assessment
  • Training volume recommendations

Additional, follow-up sessions of 30 minutes are also available. Fee for the initial visit is $150 with optional 30-minute follow-up visits for an additional $75.

According to Patrick Aguiar, PT, DPT, CSCS, instructor for the Running Analysis Program, "Running isn’t bad for you...bad running is bad for you....Come learn to run well."

Running: A Way of Life

The Running Analysis Program at ValleyCare works! Just ask avid runner Rick Stulen, age 65, of Livermore.

"The analysis helped me develop a better cadence and landing pattern for my feet," he says. “This translated to a more efficient way to run."

Seeing how Stulen is a long-distance runner and regularly participates in 10K runs, half marathons and team relays of 200 miles, this was indeed time well spent.

Stulen has been running for about 35 years. As he says, "Physical activity was always a part of my life. I grew up in a family that always stressed the importance of staying active, and it’s stuck with me."

However, he will also say that all that running does put extra stress and strain on your ligaments and joints, and eventually something gives. In Stulen’s case it was a badly pulled hamstring he got while training for a half marathon. He’s not a speed demon, as he says, but wanted to get himself to a nine-minute mile and was doing interval training, which involved running as fast he could for a quarter of a mile, then slowing down. During one of the fast portions, he pulled his hamstring.

After a visit with ValleyCare Orthopedic surgeon Stephen Viess, MD, Stulen started physical therapy for the hamstring. It was his therapist who recommended he try the Running Analysis Program offered at ValleyCare.

Running Analysis Helped

Once he completed his physical therapy, Stulen signed up for the 60-minute session. "It was very thorough and included a computer program that analyzed my gait," he says. "While my gait is fairly neutral, which is good, it did show that I was coming down on my heel first with my leg extended. This puts more stress on my legs."

Patrick Aguiar, PT, DPT, CSCS, the ValleyCare physical therapist who worked with Stulen, helped him develop a new landing pattern and cadence that made Stulen’s running more efficient. "It felt very awkward at first because it was new," says Stulen. "But it has helped tremendously and I plan to do some follow-up sessions. I use less energy now, have no leg or joint issues and have much more endurance, which is great. I hope it will help me continue running well into my 80s!"

The Running Analysis Program is offered by appointment, through ValleyCare Physical and Sports Medicine Services at the LifeStyleRx location, 1119 E. Stanley Blvd., Livermore. No referral needed. Call 925.373.4019 today.

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