How I Started A Running Gait Analysis Clinic In One Day!

Dec 20, 2022

How I Started a Running Gait Analysis Clinic in One Day! 

 

Many of my course attendees will ask me how long it took to start my running gait analysis clinic. They are always shocked when I tell them it only took me a day. Now I want to clarify, the running gait analysis clinic that took me a day to initially set up, continued to grow, evolve and change over the next several weeks, months and years. In fact my running gait analysis clinic continues to adapt as we continually strive to deliver patients and runners the best clinical outcomes. However, as the title implies, it only took me a day to set up my running gait analysis clinic. Here is how I did it. 

 

If you, like me, previously thought that starting a running gait analysis clinic takes weeks of planning, months of approvals for financial budgets and years to finally see your first runner, I have good news for you. As physical therapists we are all expertly trained to perform gait analyses, while running gait analysis does require additional expertise, luckily there are a multitude of continuing education courses to learn how to apply running gait analysis into patient care. But you may be thinking to yourself, well even if I have the clinical knowledge I still need the appropriate equipment including cameras, a treadmill and fancy running gait analysis software. Well you may not need as much as you think to get your running gait analysis clinic off the ground. Chances are that you most-likely have access to a treadmill and smartphone, to start a very basic running gait analysis clinic that is all you need! 

 

How I started my running gait analysis clinic in one day started with a patient asking me to perform a running gait analysis on them. It was a Wednesday morning and I had been taking a continuing education courses the previous weekend to better learn how to perform running gait analyses and apply them to clinical care. I had been talking to the patient, who was an avid runner, about some of the concepts I had learned in my weekend course and before I knew it he was asking me to analyze his running form. He even went as far as telling me he would pay whatever price I came up with for his running gait analysis. I scheduled the patient for Thursday afternoon and went to work on how to prepare for the upcoming running gait analysis. 

 

I divided my planning into two separate categories. The first was running gait analysis clinic operations which included the necessary patient forms, billing, scheduling and logistical flow of patient care in the clinic. The second category was the equipment I needed to perform a running gait analysis. For my running gait analysis clinic operations I decided to schedule and bill patients through WebPT and collect payment via Square.  Since I needed my running gait analysis patients to fit into the normal patient care model of an out-patient PT practice I made each appointment 1 hour long with 20 - 30 minutes allocated for running data collection and 30 - 40 minutes for the running gait analysis. Additionally, I created patient intake forms consisting of past medical history, medical liability waiver and a running questionnaire to gather running specific insight on each patient. As I shifted my focus to the second category of equipment I realized I didn’t need as much equipment as I previously thought. I used the clinic treadmill and utilized an iPad with a large screen for viewing. Lastly, I practiced a mock running gait analysis appointment with my PT Aide to make sure the visit would run smoothly.

 

My first running gait analysis was seamless, even though 24 hours earlier I felt thoroughly unprepared. Not only was I elated by the fact that I was able to seamlessly perform a running gait analysis, 3 weeks later the patient emailed me to tell me how his knee pain had all but disappeared with the changes to his running form and that he wanted to refer his running partner to take advantage of my newly formed running gait analysis clinic. Pun intended my running gait analysis clinic was off and RUNNING!

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