Run3D – what is it?

What is Run3D: It is a sophisticated gait analysis tool that measures your gait in 3 dimensions – either walking or running.

Unlike the video capture of your gait at the running shop, 3D capture brings a whole new level of information that only used to be possible in a hospital setting or for elite athletes. Even for an experienced podiatry or physiotherapist, the use of 2D technology can be limited – Run3D measures movements that can’t be seen by the human eye’ 

Small, spherical reflective markers are attached to your body and the three-dimensional positions of these markers are measured using infrared cameras as you move. Run3D has three infrared cameras that record the three-dimensional positions of each marker at a frequency of 200Hz (two hundred times a second).

The three-dimensional positions of the markers are then used to create an exact computer model of your walk or run. The personalised model is used to accurately calculate your joint angles in all three planes of human movement. For example, we measure how much your knee extends and flexes as you run, how much it rotates and how much it moves sideways.

Run3D technology brings gold-standard biomechanical assessment into high street clinical practices for everyone – “a little bit of magic”

How does it compare to 2D gait analysis

A Run3D assessment gives an impartial view of how you walk and run, highlighting weaknesses, strengths and imbalances across the body, 

Whilst a specialist podiatrist or physiotherapist can assess both static and dynamic performance in clinic, the gait analysis is usually done ‘by eye’ or 2D, using video and a treadmill/track. 

Without Run3D analysis, a clinician will start with an injury and work ‘ backwards’ to find the cause of pain or injury. With Run3D analysis, the root cause is identified so the clinician can work ‘forwards’ saving time and effort

To summarise, 2D gait analysis measures movements in 2 planes: side-to-side and up-and-down (frontal and sagittal planes). Its limitations are that it is entirely subjective, and dependent on the experience and skill of the clinician interpreting it. The 3rd plane not captured in 2D is the transverse plane movements, which capture joint rotations.

Why is having a Run3D assessment so helpful?

Run3D assessments are used to measure how a person moves in walking and running.  Whilst it is a fantastic tool to understand why patients are getting injured or are in pain, the other major benefit is its use proactively: where identify weaknesses and imbalances are identified. So it is a powerful preventative tool against painful conditions “ why wait til it hurts”

An active walker or runner wants to keep active and pain free. Run3D plays an important part in preventing inactivity and getting patients back to activity post injury by getting to the reason behind the injury quickly and objectively. Like an MRI scan, it helps to pinpoint the root cause and inform the treatment plan

Clinicians too feel the frustration of their patient’s injuries especially since many injuries could have been avoided if the biomechanical imbalances had beene identified at an early stage.

Why do runners get injured and how can Run3D help?

Running injuries are complicated and can be caused by a combination of underlying problems. Successful treatment of such injuries can be complex. Identifying the cause of recurring problems or the reason behind failed treatments can be hard. Using the Run3D gait analysis and retraining platforms, we can accurately identify the root-cause of your injury in order to deliver a successful and long-term treatment plan. The Run3D platforms quantify patterns and asymmetries in walking and running gait. 

As clinicians, we can focus on not telling a runner they have to stop running but more of why the injury how occured, what the treatment plan involves including a ‘return to running’ plan

What does a Run3D assessment involve

There is time to take a patient history including normal activity levels, frequency, terrains, activity goals and details of any injuries.

The assessment is in 2 distinct parts:

  • static assessment to measure joint range of movement (using goniometers), tendon and muscle strength (using dynamometers) and ligament flexibility (using inclinometers) This also allows data to be captured and used for future assessments and progress management. The static assessment helps to inform the treatment plan.
  • Dynamic assessment is the gait analysis using the Run3D technology to accurately measure movements at the hip, pelvis, knees and ankles whilst you are walking and/or running. This dynamic assessment helps us identify any asymmetrical movements, abnormal patterns in your gait and which structures are being over-used, compensating or not used at all.

The report and recommendations: 

  • A report is produced combining the data from both the static and dynamic tests, to accurately pinpoint what your joints, muscles and limbs are doing as you take each step. This further informs our treatment plan and the outcome goals we agree with you.

The Run3D dynamic assessment involves lots of collaboration from both patient and clinician. Before a Run3D walk/run is captured, we place the small reflective markers on your hips, pelvis, upper and lower limbs, knees, ankles and feet. These markers are picked up by the infrared cameras 200 times a second to create a 3D model of how you are walking and running. compare your results to a database of uninjured controls in real-time. This enables us to immediately identify any asymmetry and abnormal patterns in your gait

Each capture takes 30 seconds and we can measure different speeds, different shoes as required.

Who can be helped with Run3D assessments

  • Walkers
  • Runners
  • Those who are injured

Walkers 

Evidence shows that gait analysis and retraining are powerful and effective interventions for helping people walk pain-free.

Walk3D accurately measures the way you walk and identifies unusual patterns in your gait. This valuable information is used by our clinicians to optimise your rehabilitation and provide data-driven treatment advice.

Walk3D can also be used to quantify the impact of an intervention, monitor progress over time and help you return to activity following surgery.

According to a study in 2013, 8 million people in the UK have osteoarthritis (Arthritis Research UK, 2013), although this statistic has likely increased since then as obesity is on the rise (which is one of the biggest risk factors).

Osteoarthritis (OA), sometimes referred to wear and tear of the joint, is a chronic condition and the most common joint disease. It is normally classified by pain, stiffness, swelling and reduced function of the joint. The most common two joints to develop osteoarthritis are the knee and hip (Timmins et al., 2016). 

Recreational runners have less of a risk of developing knee or hip osteoarthritis compared to non-runners, sedentary individuals and competitive athletes (Alentorn-Geli et al., 2017).

Whilst there is no cure for OA,  exercise is a key activity to improve function of the joint and in doing so improve pain and slow the progress of the condition. Run3D will inform the clinician of the patient’s walking pattern and imbalances to better inform rehabilitation such as strength and mobility training, footwear recommendations and gait re-education

‍Runners 

For those runners who want to run faster Run3D can critically evaluate all aspects of their running gait and musculoskeletal function. Any biomechanical issues as opportunities to make improvements for better performance.

By using real data, measurable outcomes and objective results we can monitor the effectiveness of everything we do. The principal of marginal gains is based on making small incremental improvements, which result in significant advances when they are added together.

Once we have identified your biomechanical issues, we can deliver data-driven advice for addressing them and improving performance as part of our report and recommendations.

Those who are injured

When you run, your body endures a force equal to 2.5 times your body-weight with every step you run. You typically run a mile in approximately 1900 steps. Therefore, if you run 40 miles a week, you take nearly 2 million running steps each year. The repetitive and demanding loads placed on the body mean that even very small differences in your running patterns might lead to the development of a running injury.

Running injuries are complex and multi-factorial. However, Run3D’s scientific approach enables clinicians to provide the patient with evidence-based treatment and data-driven recommendations.

Using the advanced 3D gait analysis and retraining platforms, we accurately identify the root-cause of an injury in order to deliver a successful and long-term treatment plan.

A running injury is complicated, caused by a combination of underlying problems unique to each patient. Successfully treating a running injury is equally complex. It requires identifying what caused it in the first place and, as constant accounts of recurring problems and failed treatments testify, this isn’t easy.

Run3D was developed by scientists at the University of Oxford. Using our state-of-the-art technology and scientifically-grounded protocols, we will treat you and your injury with the attention to detail that is required for a successful return to running.

Is Run3D expensive?

No – for less than the cost of a fancy sports watch you could have a superbly detailed picture of your running style from Run3D.

References

Run3D – what is it?
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