Most people think that the human body is symmetrical and in many ways it is. When those ways it should be symmetrical go awry it can cause problems. When a runner has muscle asymmetry issues it can definitely affect their running gait.
What asymmetry is.
Muscle Asymmetry is a difference in muscle strength, motion, flexibility, balance, and mechanics between sides of the body. It can be a risk factor for injury. Even a small variance in something like leg length, scoliosis or ankle flexibility can be a problem. Everyone has some symmetry issues, but being aware of it and learning to correct your gait can mean that you don’t injure yourself.
Running requires mobility, stability, strength, and power.
Asymmetry can have a negative effect on all of those things. How it does that is by causing problems in gait mechanics and not necessarily on the side where the asymmetry occurs. A good example of this would be a runner with a problem with her left hip stability causes their right knee issues or causes an imbalance that winds up in a limp. That limp causes more stress on the opposing leg.
So what can you do to prevent injury?
Have a physical therapist like Specialized Physical Therapy check your gait for asymmetry issues. Do this before you are facing injury. Once we can figure out what the asymmetry issue is, we can teach you how to run and walk in order to compensate or correct the asymmetry.