Biomechanics Studio

Why Do I Need a Running Assessment?
Movement should be fun, free and a joyous experience.

Whether you walk or run, dance or fight – skillful movement is the key to injury free natural locomotion.

However, too many people get injured every year (around 80% of runners) because of incorrect equipment, inadequate skill and life long inefficient movement mechanics.

So how do you recondition your body for a long life of efficient movement?

What’s gone wrong?

With 200,000 nerve endings, 33 major muscles, 28 bones, 19 ligaments; the human foot is a biomechanical masterpiece. In the last 40 years we have been led by a common misconception that cushioned, heavily padded, overly supportive shoes are best.

Despite all the developments in sports shoe technology, an estimated 79% of people give up running because of injury – a movement that should come naturally to any human. Unless you were brought up in an unshod (without shoes), chair-free environment you are likely to be lacking in certain physiological qualities and bio motor skills for natural human running.

As a result of this, running is now a skill that has to be re-learned. The modern human being is generally disconnected with their natural movement pattern. We need to relearn how to move and run. Let us show you how.

So How Is The Running Assessment At The Totalcare Clinic Different?

The Philosophy

As in all skilled sports, correct technique is vital if you want to become proficient and avoid injury. Running is no different, although most of us don’t consider having lessons in running.

In theory we shouldn’t need to learn how to run as we are born with that innate ability to move quickly across the ground in an efficient manner – watch a toddler running and their feet will contact the ground on the forefoot or mid foot.

Then watch amateur adult joggers pounding the streets and you will most likely see an injurious form of motion that is not at all natural – overstriding while running on a hard pavement is not what we are designed to do. Overstriding most commonly leads to the runner putting the brakes on with every step and sending excess shock up through the legs, hips and back causing many joint problems.

In a nutshell we have forgotten how to run thanks to the invention of overly cushioned, inflexible, narrow, ill lifting shoes. If anything our feet simply need protection from the elements.

To much cushioning prevents the 200,000 nerve endings in the soles of our feet from sending feedback to the brain and controlling the way we move – imagine wearing mittens on your hands all day and trying to perform even the most simple of tasks!

We rely on that sensory feedback to enable us to be the amazing machines that we were designed to be. Inflexible footwear prevents our foot from naturally flexing and force the runner to over stride in order to compensate.

Combine this with the narrow toe box area of the shoe and you dumbing down not only the foots natural sensory feedback but forcing it move unnaturally. The result is a poor technique that predisposes you to injury.

So what do I have to do?

To improve anything in life there has to be change. To take a leap forward with your running and to strive for a lifetime of efficient and injury free natural movement, you need to take a small step backward. Remember how you moved as a child. Recapture those movement mechanics and learn to run again.

So what is this Barefoot running about?

We consider shoeless running as a tool – something that can help build strength and improve form for all runners – rather than as as objective in itself, or even, as some would have it, a lifestyle. The idea behind barefoot running is to allow your foot to land on the ground in it’s most natural form due to it’s lack of protection. This means you land without the over protection of over cushioned shoes which commonly leads to over striding.

The point of contact will unavoidablity move more towards your forefoot or midfoot as a result of it being less painful. This in turn minimises your ground force and risk of injury.

The Practitioners

Here at The Totalcare Clinic we have the unique ability to not only coach and address the software technique issue associated with the biomechanics of running, but with our vast experience and anatomical knowledge of body’s joints, muscles and pathological problems from being Osteopaths, we can address the hardware issues as well.

What that means is we can not only coach the correct technique but we can make sure your body has the physical ability to reach it’s potential as well.

Both Ian and Michelle are accredited Vivobarefoot Running Instructors. Ian has also been credited as a Born To Run Coach. This is an accreditation that only a few have in the world and was directly instructed and assessed by Lee Saxby himself.

Michelle McWilliam
Ian Stuart

What Happens In The Running Assessment?

The Consultation

The first consultation will take approximately 45-60 minutes. The consultation will be performed by one of our two head osteopathic principles, who boast qualifications including Vivo barefoot Running Technique Instructors and the famous Lee Saxby Born to Run coach qualifications. You will be asked details about your running history and what has led you to make this appointment.

It may be that you are constantly being injured, you would like to improve your performance or you are just keen to know what all the fuss is about. Either way a detailed case history will be taken and questions asked about your general health, previous illnesses, your lifestyle and your family history.

The clinician will then want to conduct a physical examination and in order to do this you may be asked to undress to your underwear. You will then be taken through a range of movements and a detailed examination of the function of your joints. This will be taken in order to assess your suitability for running and to highlight any underlying pathologies that may restrict your running progression.

You will be asked to demonstrate your running technique on our treadmill and your detailed personal running video will be recorded. During this the clinician will assess your current technique in your existing footwear and identify your kinematic (running shape) gait pattern.

You will then receive a detailed slow motion video feedback demonstrating areas of interest. The clinician will then explain the natural human walking and running biomechanics and correlate them specifically for your running gait. We will break down your micro-skills and discuss your training drills and exercises, allowing you to develop your new technique. A personal progression plan will be developed between you and the clinician, allowing you both to agree on your goals with an achievable time scale. Next you will be re assessed while running barefoot and coached through your new technique. If required advice will then be given on the correct shoes to use with your new technique.

Follow Up Running Assessments

The clinician will review the advice given at the initial consultation and address any problem noted by the patient since trying the new technique. A re-evaluation of your running technique will once again be taken using video analysis and further micro-skill analysis and technique drills recommended to further your progress.

Running Assessment Fees

Full Running Assessment £60

  • 1 hour appointment with either Ian Stuart or Michelle McWilliam (Principle Osteopaths and Running Coaches)
  • A Full Structural Assessment to assess which gait technique would best suit you
  • Video analysis of your technique in your current footwear
  • Kinematic (running shape) identification
  • Understanding the natural human walking and biomechanics and how we are designed to move
  • Running micro-skills assessment and training using barefoot technique drills and exercises
  • Personal progression plan
  • Video analysis and coaching of your new barefoot running technique
  • Advice on Barefoot running and lifestyle shoes

Follow-up Running Review £45

  • Re-evaluation of your running technique using video analysis
  • Further micro-skill analysis and technique drills
  • Advanced barefoot running advice to further your progression


Payments are made at the end of each treatment session or consultation. We accept cash, cheque, debit or credit card.

Our Secure  iZettle Reader takes chip, swipe and contactless payments from all major credit cards, as well as payments through Samsung Pay, Apple Pay and Android Pay.


We are recognised by all major insurance companies and we may bill directly some insurances, including Bupa and Cigna, if you provide us the following details prior to your first consultation:

  • Your name, address and date of birth

  • Insurance policy or membership number

  • Pre-authorisation number for treatment

  • Number of treatments authorised