Disclaimer: I am not a qualified physiotherapist – I share this story in order to highlight ways that you can look after your health for free.
Getting your gait analysed is not something that you’d tag onto a to do list when your out and about in town on the weekend.
Cinema – yes.
Restaurant – defo!
Gait analysis – WTF?
But a recent long term knee problem of my own forced me into action.
For a long time I’d worn cheap to middle of the range shoes – both for work when I used to sit at a desk and for exercise.
Little did I know that I was stirring up future problems that would lead to severe knee pain just behind the patella (knee cap).
At first I ignored the problem but eventually gave it the normal bout of rehab prescribed by physiotherapists and doctors: rest, ibuprofen and muscle strengthening in the lower limbs.
This worked for a while but then the problems came back despite the strength gains.
No running, no bootcamps, no fitness gains – not good.
Then one day an old friend said that I should get my gait analysed at Up and Running in Central Milton Keynes.
I thought why not – I can grab a Costa whilst I’m there.
So I was met by a lovely and knowledgeable lady (a qualified PT, group run leader and caring salesperson) who asked me a few probing questions about the knee pain, when it came and went, was it constant etc.
She then promptly asked me to step on the treadmill whilst a camera at floor level recorded the way I ran.
After my best impression of Mo Farah we were both at a screen playing back my stride pattern in slow motion.
It was then we realised straight away that likely the cause of my knee pain was the way my foot landed ‘inwards’ (overpronation) placing stress on my knee as a result.
As you can imagine lots of running and jumping about over the years with this type of feet = severe knee pain.
I had finally found a possible reason for my nagging knee pain.
Help was at hand.
I was advised that there are specialist trainers that can ‘correct’ and deficiencies in my gait and help prevent future knee pain.
We went through and I tried on several pairs of trainers until I found a pair so comfortable that they’re like wearing clouds.
They came with a bit of a price tag but I thought how much I would save in physiotherapy fees, time off and above all suffering from knee pain.
Ever since wearing them the knee pain has disappeared, my own fitness program is back on track and I’m free to leap around as much as I like without worrying about developing knee pain.
The Moral Of The Story
If it’s free, you may as well get your gait analysed.
Share what problems you have with your lower limbs to the well-trained staff and see whether or not they are related to your gait.
It’s a win win.
Ways To Save Money
There is a UK based website that stocks previous year’s models of high end specialist trainers that you can get superb deals on.
I’ve seen discounts of 50% at times.
The website is https://www.startfitness.co.uk/
So when you know which make and model of training shoe is right for your gait, you can order a pair from 2/3 years previous at a large discount to the retail price from Start Fitness.