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A physiotherapist is observing the biomechanics of movement in all patients they assess. Usually there will be some movement deficiency, restriction or weakness that will eventually cause pain. This is because a particular structure will become overloaded as we are not able to share that load out so easily. If you want to become, not only pain free but problem free, correcting these weaknesses and control deficiencies is essential.
That’s the ‘reactive’ approach and about 95% of our work. You could be ‘proactive’ and actually get in there and solve the problems before they become painful. That’s what screening can do for you. Look for the weakness and poor areas of control and beat the pain before it happens. If you compete at sports, this can often convert to better performance.
Assessing running is a form of biomechanical screening… for runners. Most of us can run or at least want to. Unfortunately, we are not all built, or coached like Mo Farrah. No doubt there are genetic and biological limitations that we as individuals cannot change that would give us a running advantage. One thing we can change though is our running mechanics.
Even the most regular and longstanding runners can repeat bad habits whilst running that will reduce their efficiency and increase their injury risk. Slow motion video analysis allows us to observe and break the essential components of running down into easy manageable chunks that can be changed if required. Simple exercises and movement ‘cues’ are used to instruct and repeat these changes until they become the new habit.
In some runners, a simple change in running step rate is all that might be need to overcome a long standing knee injury, for example.