Gait modifications to change lower extremity biomechanics
The following systematic review identified many biomechanical parameters that can be altered by running modification programmes. It was shown that the most effective strategy for reducing high-risk factors of running-related injury – such as impact loading – was via real-time feedback of kinetics and/or kinematics.
The incidence of running-related injuries has remained unchanged over the past 30 years, with some studies indicating that up to 85% of runners sustain an injury annually. Although many varied risk factors have been attributed to such an epidemic, abnormal biomechanics is one that gains a lot of interest. Furthermore, many modifiable biomechanical risk factors have also been proposed as interventions via gait retraining. The following study aims to determine which interventions have successfully modified biomechanical variables linked to running-related injury.
From the 27 studies included, it was found that foot strike manipulation had the greatest effect on kinematic measures, real-time feedback had the greatest effect on kinetic measures, and combined training protocols had the greatest effect on spatiotemporal measures.
In essence, this review highlights the fact that many biomechanical parameters can be altered via running modification-training programs. It has been suggested that future studies should investigate whether such changes are retained long-term.
Do you use gait retraining in your practice? In your experience, which ways to achieve modification of biomechanics are most effective?
> From: Napier et al., Br J Sports Med (2015) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to . Click here for the Pubmed summary.