Primary and secondary effects of real-time feedback to reduce vertical loading rate during running

M. Baggaley, R. W. Willy, S. A. Meardon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Gait modifications are often proposed to reduce average loading rate (AVLR) during running. While many modifications may reduce AVLR, little work has investigated secondary gait changes. Thirty-two rearfoot runners [16M, 16F, 24.7 (3.3) years, 22.72 (3.01) kg/m2, >16 km/week] ran at a self-selected speed (2.9 ± 0.3 m/s) on an instrumented treadmill, while 3D mechanics were calculated via real-time data acquisition. Real-time visual feedback was provided in a randomized order to cue a forefoot strike (FFS), a minimum 7.5% decrease in step length, or a minimum 15% reduction in AVLR. AVLR was reduced by FFS (mean difference = 26.4 BW/s; 95% CI = 20.1, 32.7; P < 0.001), shortened step length (8.4 BW/s; 95% CI = 2.9, 14.0; P = 0.004), and cues to reduce AVLR (14.9 BW/s; 95% CI = 10.2, 19.6; P < 0.001). FFS, shortened step length, and cues to reduce AVLR all reduced eccentric knee joint work per km [(−48.2 J/kg*m; 95% CI = −58.1, −38.3; P < 0.001), (−35.5 J/kg*m; 95% CI = −42.4, 28.6; P < 0.001), (−23.1 J/kg*m; 95% CI = −33.3, −12.9; P < 0.001)]. However, FFS and cues to reduce AVLR also increased eccentric ankle joint work per km [(54.49 J/kg*m; 95% CI = 45.3, 63.7; P < 0.001), (9.20 J/kg*m; 95% CI = 1.7, 16.7; P = 0.035)]. Potentially injurious secondary effects associated with FFS and cues to reduce AVLR may undermine their clinical utility. Alternatively, a shortened step length resulted in small reductions in AVLR, without any potentially injurious secondary effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-507
Number of pages7
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Volume27
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2017

Keywords

  • Tibial stress fracture
  • cadence
  • foot strike
  • gait modification

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