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Shoe Fit and Bike Fit services are designed to provide you with expert analysis and recommendations to help you select the equipment that best fits your body and exercise style. These services are available at the Sheltering Arms PT Works/West End Center.
When you consider the forces being absorbed by your body as you run, you’ll realize that your running shoes are the most important piece of running equipment you can buy. So, be sure that shoe really fits! Our physical therapy team can help with a Shoe Fit.
Who should have a running shoe assessment? Anyone who plans to spend time running for recreation, fitness or training for a race can benefit from a Shoe Fit. A properly fitting shoe will provide comfort and the correct balance of support and cushioning to make running more enjoyable and reduce your injury potential.
“Oh, I just buy what’s on sale.” Do you feel lucky? Well, luck is what it amounts to if you select your running shoes this way. We recommend that you make a visit to a reputable running store and talk to a knowledgeable staff member who can answer your questions. Running shoes come in three categories: neutral shoes for the efficient runner, stability shoes for the slight pronator and motion control shoes for the severe pronator. But how do you know which one to choose? That depends on whether you have a high or low arch, if you are an early or late pronator, and if you have a forefoot varus or tibia varum. Do you have any asymmetries?
Does it sound complicated? It is. That’s why you need a Shoe Fit.
What can we do for you? As medical professionals, we’ll begin with a detailed interview and medical history. Reporting all of your past injuries of your feet, ankles, knees, hips and lower back is very important. Sometimes these minor or major injuries will lead to a compensation pattern and can be the root cause of several problems. This detail will lead us in the right direction in terms of the proper shoe fit for you.
Examination: We’ll run you through a full musculoskeletal and functional mobility stability assessment. Your current mobility, strength and stability will affect your comfort and efficiency while you run. We will carefully assess your foot and ankle biomechanics. Much of this assessment will occur while you’re standing or walking barefoot, so we can visualize your unique biomechanics.
Video motion analysis: Walking and running are complex activities. That’s why we videotape your walking/running and analyze your biomechanics frame by frame. This way we can review your unique style and make shoe recommendations for your specific needs.
What you take home: We will give you a shoe recommendation form that can be taken to the running store of your choice. Finally, we’ll make recommendations of which corrective exercises are needed to keep you healthy and happy while training. You may have a flexibility problem or a strength and stability problem that could be cleaned up with a few simple exercises, which you could do at home or at the gym.
Cycling is a repetitive sport, with the average cyclist completing approximately 5,000 leg rotations per hour. Due to the repetition of the sport, many injuries can sneak up on you over time and may even end your cycling career. When your body is positioned just right, you can maximize performance on the bike and prevent injuries. A Bike Fit can help you achieve this positioning.
Who should have the Bike Fit? Anyone who spends any time on a bike can benefit from Bike Fit. Whether you’re a recreational cyclist or a serious athlete, it’s important to be positioned properly on your bike. Through proper positioning, you can cycle more efficiently and reduce your risk of injury to the knee, lower back or neck. No one cyclist’s body is like another, so your bike needs to fit your body specifically.
What is a Bike Fit? A good, reputable bike shop can fit you with the correct bicycle style and size for your needs, but they are not experts on the human body and how it moves. Some people will measure your knee angle while you sit on your stationary bike or make calculations based on a formula from a magazine and call that a “bike fit.” That is a static fit. That’s not what we consider riding a bike.
How is our Bike Fit different? We are medical professionals, so we’ll begin with a detailed interview and medical history. Reporting all of your past on or off bike injuries is important. Sometimes a small injury can lead to a compensation and be the root cause of several problems. Proper assessment and treatment of leg length discrepancies, patella femoral disease, forefoot varus, neck and back pain can affect your performance.
Examination: We’ll run through a full musculoskeletal and functional mobility and stability assessment. Your current mobility, strength and stability will affect your comfort and efficiency. How you move off the bike determines how you move on the bike. Bike fit formulas out of a book or magazine cannot assess you in this way.
Your Bike: Next, we’ll set you up on your bike. We use your actual bike, not a sizing device. We do not sell bikes. Our goal is to fit your current bike to you, not you to a virtual bike.
Video Motion Analysis for a Dynamic Fit: Your position on a bike is dynamic and changes with effort. More technique flaws will show up when you are working hard pedaling against resistance than pedaling easy or not at all, as with static fit. We will analyze your position frame by frame and pinpoint your technique flaws. Research has proven that critical angles of the spine, pelvis and lower body joints make a considerable difference in economy. The goal is to get you within certain specific norms to make you as efficient and comfortable as possible when you are riding hard.
The Fit: After all the data has been collected and analyzed, we will then begin fitting your bike to you. We’ll help you adjust your bike to get you in the best position possible based on your current mobility, strength and motion analysis information. Sometimes a small adjustment can make a huge difference in comfort. It may require adjusting the saddle height and fore-aft position, stem height and/or cleats, or adding a shim. We may even recommend an orthotic or modification of your current cycling shoe insert to improve your biomechanics. We’ll do our best with what you bring in, but sometimes different length stems or handle bars help, and we can make recommendations on these for you.
Finally, we will guide you with corrective exercises and essential drills to progress your fit even further.
How do I prepare for a Bike Fit? Please make sure your bike is clean and in good working condition. If your bike is not functioning properly, it can be difficult to do a good bike fit. Bring or wear your cycling clothing. Before you come, make sure you can remove your cleats from your shoes. If your cleat screws are stripped, we can’t adjust your cleat position, which will probably be a significant part of your fit.
Should I have a Bike Fit before I get a new bike? No. First visit a reputable bike shop to purchase a well-fitting bicycle. Our Bike Fit is not meant to help you select specific bike frame size, geometry, etc.
How long will the Bike Fit take? You should allow an hour to an hour and a half. A follow-up may be recommended.