By Kathy EastwoodSeptember 22, 2016
Many people run for sport or exercise and most generally are not thinking about how they are running. Are they running in the way that is correct for them? Do they suffer from joint or muscle pain after a run?
For this reason, Keller Army Community Hospital's Physical Therapy Department in the Col. Brian Allgood Ambulatory Clinic is administering monthly running clinics that will analyze the way an individual is running by videotaping a run on a treadmill, a short class on running and individual exercises.
The first clinic was Sept. 15 and the next clinic will be held at 3 p.m. Oct. 20.
"We are analyzing individual running performance, to find out their gait and form, and to see if we can maximize performance levels," said Maj. Eliza Szymanek, physical therapist. "We could reduce joint and muscle injuries. The most common runner's pain is the knees."
The clinic includes a slow motion video gait analysis of their running form, shoe evaluation, flexibility screening, strength screening and exercises deemed appropriate to the individual.
On an individual basis, the therapist can figure out through viewing the step width, arm movement, hip stability, knee alignment, cadence and foot strike pattern if their performance can be enhanced or see if they are risking injury, all through viewing videos.
Szymanek gave a short class on the steps to a good running form.
"The first thing we can look at is your posture," Szymanek said. "Stand tall, point your toes forward and your body should be leaning forward from the ankles. Pay attention to your cadence, which is how many times your foot strikes the ground. A good number to aim for is around 180 steps per minute. You can find your cadence by counting the number of right foot strikes for 20 seconds and multiply by 6."
Szymanek said the landing should be soft with the knee bent and aim to land directly under your body and always relax the foot.
"Your arms should swing easily from the shoulders with elbows at about 90 degrees," Szymanek said.
The runners participating also went through some strengthening and stretching exercises like mini single leg squats, side stepping with a band and standing side or rear leg raise.
"I took a break from running after two children back to back," said Lisa Kalitka, one of the six runners participating in the clinic. "I wanted to get back into it and get working again so I thought this clinic would be good for me."
For those interested in the runners clinic, call the Physical Therapy Department at 845-938-3324 for details or to schedule an appointment.