Running Assessment / GAIT Analysis at Alliston physio clinic

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A GAIT Assessment is a detailed analysis of how a person walks. Its main purpose is to evaluate the various aspects of a person’s gait pattern, including their balance, stride length, step width and foot placement. Gait assessments are commonly used in healthcare, especially in physiotherapy practices. Similarly, a running assessment is a detailed analysis of an individual’s running pattern, including attributes such as cadence and heel striking. Both gait and running assessments can be useful in identifying biomechanical impairments contributing to an individual’s pain, or simply looking at improving their performance.


What is the purpose of a GAIT Assessment?

GAIT cycle phases diagram

Gait assessments are commonly used in physiotherapy practice, whether it is due to a lumbar issue or a sports performance issue. More specifically, a gait assessment is for:

1. Identifying issues

Examining an individual’s gait can identify any abnormalities, asymmetries or inefficiencies in a person’s GAIT. This could be the cause of an underlying musculoskeletal, neurological or biomechanical issue. For example, how we may be walking around, such as hip swaying may be contributing to our hip pain.


2. Diagnosis

A gait assessment can help specifically diagnose a person’s condition or injury related to walking or mobility. For example, specific gait abnormalities may develop after suffering a stroke, Parkinson’s disease, various neurological conditions and other lower limb injuries.

3. Treatment planning

Depending on the assessment findings, your physiotherapist will develop an individualized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and goals. If there are abnormalities in your GAIT, it will help your physiotherapist include exercises, assistive devices or potential other strategies to improve your gait.

4. Monitoring progress

If your physiotherapist has assessed your gait and noticed abnormalities, they will continue to re-assess your gait pattern to see your progress.

5. Prevention

Identifying gait abnormalities may help to reduce the potential for further injury as well as help you rehab your current injury. It may also be beneficial in sports and fitness contexts, as a gait assessment can identify potential risk factors for injuries. If identified, the physiotherapist can help you with preventative strategies such as exercises, footwear recommendations or modifications to your activities/training programs.

What is the purpose of a Running Assessment?

GAIT analysis Alliston clinic patient

Running assessments are also commonly used in physiotherapy practice to help someone recovering from an injury to better optimize their running pattern. Here are some specific purposes of a running assessment:

1. Running form analysis

This includes a detailed analysis of an individual’s running form including their posture, stride length, cadence, foot strike pattern, arm swing and overall body alignment during running.

2. Identifying biomechanical issues

The physiotherapist may identify biomechanical issues (i.e. overpronation of the foot) that are contributing to an individual’s irritation or potentially an inefficient running pattern. Identifying these biomechanical issues may help to reduce the risk of injury in the future.

3. Injury prevention

By identifying potential risk factors related to running mechanics (i.e. muscle imbalances), a running assessment can enable proactive measures to prevent common running injuries such as shin splints, IT band syndrome and stress fractures.

4. Performance optimization

For athletes and runners looking to improve their performance, a running assessment can provide valuable information into areas for improvement. This can include stride efficiency, running economy, pacing strategies and many more.

5. Footwear and equipment recommendations

Depending on the running assessment findings, recommendations may be made by your physiotherapist. This can include appropriate footwear or other running gear that can support your specific running pattern to improve your comfort and performance.

6. Training guidance

A running assessment may also provide information on specific areas to improve with strength and mobility. Recommendations may also be made on running technique modifications and training volume adjustments tailored to your specific goals and running pattern.

What are common injuries from poor running form?

running assessment at Alliston physio clinic
  • Shin splints
  • Iliotibial band syndrome
  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome (Runner’s knee)
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Stress fractures
  • Muscle strains and overuse injuries

What does a GAIT running assessment involve?

Depending on your condition and goals, your gait/running assessment may look different. Some components your physiotherapist may include are:

1. Medical history

The assessment will begin with a detailed health history taken to gather past medical interventions, injuries, current symptoms and complaints about your walking or running.

2. Observation

Depending on the reason for your appointment, you will be asked to walk for a gait assessment or run on a treadmill for a running assessment. During your walk or run, the physiotherapist will observe your pattern, likely from different angles to assess your posture, body alignment, step length and cadence. Your physiotherapist may ask you to record a video of your gait/running, which will aid them in slowing down your gait cycle for more accurate assessment.

3. Functional tests

Additional functional tests may be performed to assess balance, coordination, muscle strength, and joint range of motion. This will help to identify other contributing factors to your gait abnormalities.

4. Interpretation and recommendations

Based on your assessment findings, the physiotherapist will interpret the data and develop a personalized treatment plan.

Overall, gait and running assessments are comprehensive processes that combine clinical observation, biomechanical analysis and functional testing to assess your movement patterns. This ultimately is to improve your discomfort and performance.

Contact our Alliston physio clinic to book your Running analysis or GAIT Assessment.


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Gait analysis and Running Assessments can be useful in determining biomechanical irregularities during either walking or running that are either causing or are caused by a certain condition or injury. Gait analysis can also help to identify inefficiencies that may be reducing performance in runners and perhaps predisposing or contributing to injury.
We use multiple tools to analyze a person’s gait. First, we use our physiotherapy backgrounds and knowledge of biomechanics. By observing someone walking/running/using the treadmill (and perhaps recording them) we can often identify these major faults. A biomechanical exam can also aid in this process through identifying structural limitations, muscle weakness and tone, and a variety of other potential faults. Finally, using training from courses such as those taught at The Running Clinic, can help to consolidate all of this information while allowing us to make recommendations on items such as footwear, training schedules, and other information relevant to your specific situation.

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exercise prescription

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is physiotherapy?

Simply stated, physiotherapy is the treatment of deficits and disease without the use of medications. Physiotherapy is useful for the majority of injuries and ailments one might suffer. The goal of our physiotherapists is to reduce your symptoms and allow you to return to function in a timely manner. If you are unsure if your condition is appropriate for physiotherapy, please feel free to contact us.

How do I pay for your services?
We accept cash, cheque, and debit as forms of payment (sorry no credit cards). It is expected that you pay at the end of your session, at which time you will be provided with an invoice. If you have insurance, you can then submit the invoice to your insurer for reimbursement.
Does OHIP cover physiotherapy?
No, unfortunately physiotherapy was de-listed in 2005. Some Designated Physiotherapy Centres remain (which can bill through OHIP), though the locations and availability are limited, and there are very strict regulations on who qualifies for this type of treatment.
Do I need a doctor’s referral to come and see you?
No, you do not. As primary health care practitioners, we often see people prior to them seeing their doctor. Please note that some insurance companies still require a doctor’s referral prior to reimbursing you for physiotherapy services.
What do I need to wear for my assessment?
It is important for your physiotherapist to be able to view the area that they are treating. Typically it is safe to assume that athletic shorts and a t-shirt would be appropriate, though in some cases a tank top, sports bra etc. may be required. It is also important that you are comfortable in your assessment, so if you are not, please let us know.
Will my private insurance cover the cost of this treatment?
All of our treatments are provided by regulated Physiotherapists, so if your insurance covers physiotherapy, you should be covered. Each individual plan varies in terms of types and amounts of coverage, so if you are concerned it might be best to contact your insurer.
What if my injuries are as a result of a motor vehicle accident or workplace injury?
At South Simcoe Physiotherapy we do treat people who have been involved in motor vehicle accidents (MVA). If you are booking an initial assessment as a result of a MVA, here is some of the information we will need:

  • Date of accident
  • Claim number
  • Adjuster’s name and contact information
  • Private health insurance information (if applicable)
  • Area of injury

We are able to direct bill your motor vehicle insurance, but please note that all of your private health insurance must be used prior to accessing your motor vehicle insurance. These rules are mandated by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario and not our clinic.

Workplace injury (WSIB): we often treat people as a result of a workplace injury, however, we do not bill WSIB directly. If your injury is part of a WSIB claim, you are expected to pay just as other clients and then submit your invoices to WSIB.

South Simcoe Physiotherapy

Hours & Location


Monday: 8am - 7:30pm
Tuesday: 8am - 7:30pm
Wednesday: 8am - 7:30pm
Thursday: 8am-7:30pm
Friday: 8am to 5 pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

Address: 180 Parsons Rd #8, Alliston, ON L9R 1E8


Phone:  (705) 250-6000

Fax:  (705) 250-7000

[email protected]


Registered physiotherapists offering one-on-one manual therapy, IMS, and acupuncture in Alliston, Beeton, Tottenham, New Tecumseth and surrounding areas

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