Effects of Step Rate Manipulation on Joint Mechanics during Running

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Title Effects of Step Rate Manipulation on Joint Mechanics during Running
Author Heiderscheit, Bryan C.; Chumanov, Elizabeth S.; Michalski, Max P.; Willie, Christa M.; Ryan, Michael
Journal Name Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Year Published 2011
Place of publication United States
Publisher Lippincott Williams and Wilkins
Abstract Purpose: The objective of this study was to characterize the biomechanical effects of step rate modification during running on the hip, knee, and ankle joints so as to evaluate a potential strategy to reduce lower extremity loading and risk for injury. Methods: Three-dimensional kinematics and kinetics were recorded from 45 healthy recreational runners during treadmill running at constant speed under various step rate conditions (preferred, ±5%, and ±10%). We tested our primary hypothesis that a reduction in energy absorption by the lower extremity joints during the loading response would occur, primarily at the knee, when step rate was increased. Results: Less mechanical energy was absorbed at the knee (P < 0.01) during the +5% and +10% step rate conditions, whereas the hip (P < 0.01) absorbed less energy during the +10% condition only. All joints displayed substantially (P < 0.01) more energy absorption when preferred step rate was reduced by 10%. Step length (P < 0.01), center of mass vertical excursion (P < 0.01), braking impulse (P < 0.01), and peak knee flexion angle (P < 0.01) were observed to decrease with increasing step rate. When step rate was increased 10% above preferred, peak hip adduction angle (P < 0.01) and peak hip adduction (P < 0.01) and internal rotation (P < 0.01) moments were found to decrease. Conclusion: We conclude that subtle increases in step rate can substantially reduce the loading to the hip and knee joints during running and may prove beneficial in the prevention and treatment of common running-related injuries.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181ebedf4
Volume 43
Issue Number 2
Page from 296
Page to 302
ISSN 0195-9131
Date Accessioned 2012-01-10; 2012-02-16T05:41:59Z
Date Available 2012-02-16T05:41:59Z
Research Centre Centre for Musculoskeletal Research
Faculty Griffith Health Faculty
Subject Biomechanics; Epidemiology; Physiotherapy
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/42832
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1x

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