What do you think?: Running is an easy way to keep fit and utilises a wide range of muscles, involving the whole kinetic chain from your toes right up to your upper spine. There is a great amount of force transmitted through impact during a run, which is why it is so important to ensure that every component of this kinetic chain is functioning at its best.
Using our understanding of this dynamic during running we at Inspired Physio have developed a running assessment to identify problem areas in your body structures which may be causing pain or inefficiency in your running style. The assessment integrates the components of hip and pelvic range of motion and strength as a solid foundation for lower limb alignment, knee alignment, calf muscle flexibility for power transmission, big toe mobility as the major force point through the foot, and general strength of running muscles, based on the understanding of the inter-dependency of these components.
As a long distance runner this assessment was an eye-opener for me. With an extensive history of lower back and SIJ (the joint between the tailbone and the lower back) pain, my assessment revealed widespread lack of flexibility, and an appalling weakness in my left hip muscles compromising the stability of my lumbopelvic region. By targeting exercises for the weak muscles, as well as the hip and lower back core complex, I could retrain the force transmission through my kinetic chain, resulting in a reduction of the SIJ and back pain episodes.
If you are a runner or looking to start running in the new year, give us a call!
Jess Bannerman, Receptionist (4th Year Physio Student)