Footstrike patterns during running can be classified discretely into a rearfoot strike, midfoot strike and forefoot strike by visual observation. However, the footstrike pattern can also be classified on a continuum, ranging from 0–100% (extreme rearfoot to extreme forefoot) using the strike index, a measure requiring force plate data. When force data are not available, an alternative method to quantify the strike pattern must be used. The purpose of this paper was to quantify the continuum of foot strike patterns using an easily attainable kinematic measure, and compare it to the strike index measure. Force and kinematic data from twenty subjects were collected as they ran across an embedded force plate. Strike index and the footstrike angle were identified for the four running conditions of rearfoot strike, midfoot strike and forefoot strike, as well as barefoot. The footstrike angle was calculated as the angle of the foot with respect to the ground in the sagittal plane. Results indicated that the footstrike angle was significantly correlated with strike index. The linear regression model suggested that strike index can be accurately estimated, in both barefoot and shod conditions, in the absence of force data.
Endurance running may have a long evolutionary history in the hominin clade but it was not until very recently that humans ran wearing shoes. Research on modern habitually unshod runners has suggested that they utilize a different biomechanical strategy than runners who wear shoes, namely that barefoot runners typically use a forefoot strike in order to avoid generating the high impact forces that would be experienced if they were to strike the ground with their heels first. This finding suggests that our habitually unshod ancestors may have run in a similar way. However, this research was conducted on a single population and we know little about variation in running form among habitually barefoot people, including the effects of running speed, which has been shown to affect strike patterns in shod runners. Here, we present the results of our investigation into the selection of running foot strike patterns among another modern habitually unshod group, the Daasanach of northern Kenya. Data were collected from 38 consenting adults as they ran along a trackway with a plantar pressure pad placed midway along its length. Subjects ran at self-selected endurance running and sprinting speeds. Our data support the hypothesis that a forefoot strike reduces the magnitude of impact loading, but the majority of subjects instead used a rearfoot strike at endurance running speeds. Their percentages of midfoot and forefoot strikes increased significantly with speed. These results indicate that not all habitually barefoot people prefer running with a forefoot strike, and suggest that other factors such as running speed, training level, substrate mechanical properties, running distance, and running frequency, influence the selection of foot strike patterns.
Masai Barefoot Technology (MBT, Switzerland) produce footwear which they claim simulate walking barefoot on soft undulating ground. This paper reports an investigation into the effect of MBT sandals on the motion of the ankle and subtalar joint complex during walking.
Range of motion data was collected in the sagittal, frontal and transverse plane from the ankle and subtalar joint complex from 32 asymptomatic subjects using the CODA MPX30 motion analysis system during both barefoot walking and walking in the MBT sandal. Shod and un-shod data were compared using the Wilcoxon signed ranks test.
A significantly greater range of motion in the frontal and sagittal planes was recorded when walking in the MBT sandal (p = 0.031, and p = 0.015 respectively). In the transverse plane, no significant difference was found (p = 0.470).
MBT sandals increase the range of motion of the ankle and subtalar joint complex in the frontal and sagittal planes. MBT footwear could therefore have a role to play in the management of musculoskeletal disorders where an increase in frontal and sagittal plane range of motion is desirable.
Excessive pronation (or eversion) at ankle joint in heel-toe running correlated with lower extremity overuse injuries. Orthotics and inserts are often prescribed to limit the pronation range to tackle the problem. Previous studies revealed that the effect is product-specific. This study investigated the effect of medial arch-heel support in inserts on reducing ankle eversion in standing, walking and running.
Thirteen pronators and 13 normal subjects participated in standing, walking and running trials in each of the following conditions: (1) barefoot, and shod condition with insert with (2) no, (3) low, (4) medium, and (5) high medial arch-heel support. Motions were captured and processed by an eight-camera motion capture system. Maximum ankle eversion was calculated by incorporating the raw coordinates of 15 anatomical positions to a self-compiled Matlab program with kinematics equations. Analysis of variance with repeated measures with post-hoc Tukey pairwise comparisons was performed on the data among the five walking conditions and the five running conditions separately.
Results showed that the inserts with medial arch-heel support were effective in dynamics trials but not static trials. In walking, they successfully reduced the maximum eversion by 2.1 degrees in normal subjects and by 2.5–3.0 degrees in pronators. In running, the insert with low medial arch support significantly reduced maximum eversion angle by 3.6 and 3.1 degrees in normal subjects and pronators respectively.
Medial arch-heel support in inserts is effective in reducing ankle eversion in walking and running, but not in standing. In walking, there is a trend to bring the over-pronated feet of the pronators back to the normal eversion range. In running, it shows an effect to restore normal eversion range in 84% of the pronators.
Semi-custom foot orthoses (SCO) are thought to be a cost-effective alternative to custom-made devices. However, previous biomechanical research involving either custom or SCO has only focused on rearfoot biomechanics. The purpose of this study was therefore to determine changes in multi-segment foot biomechanics during shod walking with and without an SCO. We chose to investigate an SCO device that incorporates a heat-moulding process, to further understand if the moulding process would significantly alter rearfoot, midfoot, or shank kinematics as compared to a no-orthotic condition. We hypothesized the SCO, whether moulded or non-moulded, would reduce peak rearfoot eversion, tibial internal rotation, arch deformation, and plantar fascia strain as compared to the no-orthoses condition.
Twenty participants had retroreflective markers placed on the right limb to represent forefoot, midfoot, rearfoot and shank segments. 3D kinematics were recorded using an 8-camera motion capture system while participants walked on a treadmill.
Plantar fascia strain was reduced by 34% when participants walked in either the moulded or non-moulded SCO condition compared to no-orthoses. However, there were no significant differences in peak rearfoot eversion, tibial internal rotation, or medial longitudinal arch angles between any conditions.
A semi-custom moulded orthotic does not control rearfoot, shank, or arch deformation but does, however, reduce plantar fascia strain compared to walking without an orthoses. Heat-moulding the orthotic device does not have a measurable effect on any biomechanical variables compared to the non-moulded condition. These data may, in part, help explain the clinical efficacy of orthotic devices.
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.
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.
Less mechanical energy was absorbed at the knee (p<0.01) during the +5% and +10% step rate conditions, while 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), breaking 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), as well as peak hip adduction (p<0.01) and internal rotation (p<0.01) moments, were found to decrease.
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.
energy absorption; knee; stride length; injury prevention; rehabilitation
The characteristics of the midsole were examined in four pairs of running shoes by a materials test. The variables of interest were the peak acceleration, time to peak acceleration and the kinetic energy absorbed. Ten subjects then ran at a recreational jogging pace (3.5 ms-1) barefoot and in the shoes. An accelerometer secured to the lower tibia was used to measure the peak acceleration and time to peak acceleration associated with footstrike. Subjects were also videoed and a kinematic analysis was undertaken at the knee and ankle joints. The results from the materials test showed that the shoes differed in their midsole characteristics, however, no significant differences (P > 0.05) were observed in the peak acceleration and time to peak acceleration during running in shoes. These variables were significantly greater in the barefoot running condition (P < 0.05), as compared with running in shoes. Small and subtle kinematic differences were observed between the barefoot and shoe conditions. It appears that the differences observed between the shoes in the materials test were not sufficient to elicit the kinematic changes observed between the barefoot and shoe conditions. It is suggested that runners operate within a 'kinetic bandwidth' when responding to impact stresses.
It is known that when barefoot, gait biomechanics of diabetic neuropathic patients differ from non-diabetic individuals. However, it is still unknown whether these biomechanical changes are also present during shod gait which is clinically advised for these patients. This study investigated the effect of the participants own shoes on gait biomechanics in diabetic neuropathic individuals compared to barefoot gait patterns and healthy controls.
Ground reaction forces and lower limb EMG activities were analyzed in 21 non-diabetic adults (50.9 ± 7.3 yr, 24.3 ± 2.6 kg/m2) and 24 diabetic neuropathic participants (55.2 ± 7.9 yr, 27.0 ± 4.4 kg/m2). EMG patterns of vastus lateralis, lateral gastrocnemius and tibialis anterior, along with the vertical and antero-posterior ground reaction forces were studied during shod and barefoot gait.
Regardless of the disease, walking with shoes promoted an increase in the first peak vertical force and the peak horizontal propulsive force. Diabetic individuals had a delay in the lateral gastrocnemius EMG activity with no delay in the vastus lateralis. They also demonstrated a higher peak horizontal braking force walking with shoes compared to barefoot. Diabetic participants also had a smaller second peak vertical force in shod gait and a delay in the vastus lateralis EMG activity in barefoot gait compared to controls.
The change in plantar sensory information that occurs when wearing shoes revealed a different motor strategy in diabetic individuals. Walking with shoes did not attenuate vertical forces in either group. Though changes in motor strategy were apparent, the biomechanical did not support the argument that the use of shoes contributes to altered motor responses during gait.
Researchers conduct gait analyses utilizing both overground and treadmill modes of running. Previous studies comparing these modes analyzed discrete variables. Recently, techniques involving quantitative pattern analysis have assessed kinematic curve similarity in gait. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare hip, knee and rearfoot 3-D kinematics between overground and treadmill running using quantitative kinematic curve analysis. Twenty runners ran at 3.35 m/s ± 5% during treadmill and overground conditions while right lower extremity kinematics were recorded. Kinematics of the hip, knee and rearfoot at footstrike and peak were compared using intraclass correlation coefficients. Kinematic curves during stance phase were compared using the trend symmetry method within each subject. The overall average trend symmetry was high, 0.94 (1.0 is perfect symmetry) between running modes. The transverse plane and knee frontal plane exhibited lower similarity (0.86–0.90). Other than a 4.5 degree reduction in rearfoot dorsiflexion at footstrike during treadmill running, all differences were ≤1.5 degrees. 17/18 discrete variables exhibited modest correlations (>0.6) and 8/18 exhibited strong correlations (>0.8). In conclusion, overground and treadmill running kinematic curves were generally similar when averaged across subjects. Although some subjects exhibited differences in transverse plane curves, overall, treadmill running was representative of overground running for most subjects.
biomechanics; gait; waveform comparison
Chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS) is a condition that occurs almost exclusively with running whereby exercise increases intramuscular pressure compromising circulation, prohibiting muscular function, and causing pain in the lower leg. Currently, a lack of evidence exists for the effective conservative management of CECS. Altering running mechanics by adopting forefoot running as opposed to heel striking may assist in the treatment of CECS, specifically with anterior compartment symptoms.
The purpose of this case series is to describe the outcomes for subjects with CECS through a systematic conservative treatment model focused on forefoot running. Subject one was a 21 y/o female with a 4 year history of CECS and subject two was a 21 y/o male, 7 months status-post two-compartment right leg fasciotomy with a return of symptoms and a new onset of symptoms on the contralateral side.
Both subjects modified their running technique over a period of six weeks. Kinematic and kinetic analysis revealed increased step rate while step length, impulse, and peak vertical ground reaction forces decreased. In addition, leg intracompartmental pressures decreased from pre-training to post-training. Within 6 weeks of intervention subjects increased their running distance and speed absent of symptoms of CECS. Follow-up questionnaires were completed by the subjects at 7 months following intervention; subject one reported running distances up to 12.87 km pain-free and subject two reported running 6.44 km pain-free consistently 3 times a week.
This case series describes a potentially beneficial conservative management approach to CECS in the form of forefoot running instruction. Further research in this area is warranted to further explore the benefits of adopting a forefoot running technique for CECS as well as other musculoskeletal overuse complaints.
anterior compartment syndrome; fasciotomy; forefoot running; shin splints
Although the use of prophylactic knee braces in football players is common, the effectiveness of this practice is questionable. Some studies have actually shown an increase in the incidence of lower extremity injuries in players wearing such braces. The purpose of this study was to determine if wearing a prophylactic knee brace (Omni Anderson Knee Stabler) caused an alteration in a normal running gait pattern that might then increase the risk for injury. Ten subjects with no prior history of knee injury or brace use were filmed in two planes while running on a treadmill at 5 mph. Two-dimensional digital analysis of each subject's running gait with and without the use of knee braces was performed. The duration of the gait cycle and the range of motion and velocity of movements at the knee, hip, and ankle joints were determined in each leg for each condition. No differences were found between braced and nonbraced conditions for any of the measured variables. Therefore, we conclude that the use of the Omni Anderson Knee Stabler does not alter gait pattern of the lower extremities while running on a treadmill.
Running with a step rate 5–10% greater than one’s preferred can substantially reduce lower extremity joint moments and powers, and has been suggested as a possible strategy to aid in running injury management. The purpose of this study was to examine how neuromuscular activity changes with an increase in step rate during running. Forty-five injury-free, recreational runners participated in this study. Three-dimensional motion, ground reaction forces, and electromyography (EMG) of 8 muscles (rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, medial gastrocnemius, tibialis anterior, medial and lateral hamstrings, and gluteus medius and maximus) were recorded as each subject ran at their preferred speed for three different step rate conditions: preferred, +5% and +10% of preferred. Outcome measures included mean normalized EMG activity for each muscle at specific periods during the gait cycle. Muscle activities were found to predominantly increase during late swing, with no significant change in activities during the loading response. This increased muscle activity in anticipation of foot-ground contact likely alters the landing posture of the limb and the subsequent negative work performed by the joints during stance phase. Further, the increased activity observed in the gluteus maximus and medius suggests running with a greater step rate may have therapeutic benefits to those with anterior knee pain.
The purpose of this study was to describe kinematic changes that occur during an actual marathon. We hypothesized that (1) certain running kinematic measures would change between kilometres 8 and 40 (miles 5 and 25) of a marathon and (2) fast runners would demonstrate smaller changes than slow runners. Subjects (n = 179) were selected according to finish time (Range = 2:20:47 to 5:30:10). Two high-speed cameras were used to measure sagittal-plane kinematics at kilometres 8 and 40 of the marathon. The dependent variables were stride length, contact time, peak knee flexion during support and swing, and peak hip flexion and extension during swing. Two-tailed paired t-tests were used to compare dependent variables between kilometres 8 and 40 for all subjects, and regression analyses were used to determine whether faster runners exhibited smaller changes (between miles 5 and 25) than slower runners. For all runners, every dependent variable changed significantly between kilometres 8 and 40 (p < 0.001). Stride length increased 1.3%, contact time increased 13.1%, peak knee flexion during support decreased 3.2%, and peak hip extension, knee flexion, and hip flexion during swing decreased 27.9%, increased 4.3%, and increased 7.4%, respectively (p < 0.001). Among these significant changes, all runners generally changed the same from kilometres 8 and 40 except that fast runners decreased peak knee flexion during support less than the slow runners (p < 0.002). We believe that these changes, for all runners (fast and slow), were due to fatigue. The fact that fast runners maintained knee flexion during support more consistently might be due to their condition on the race day. Strengthening of knee extensor muscles may facilitate increased knee flexion during support throughout a marathon.
Runners changed kinematics significantly from kilometres 8 to 40 (increased stride length, contact time, peak hip flexion during swing, and peak knee flexion during swing, and decreased running speed, stride frequency, peak knee flexion during support and peak hip extension during swing).
Fast runners demonstrated more peak knee flexion during support throughout a marathon.
Runners generally changed kinematics similarly (between kilometres 8 and 40) except that fast runners exhibited a more consistent peak knee flexion during support than slow runners.
Resistance training that would increase both muscular strength and endurance of knee extensors may increase peak knee flexion during support and help maintain it similar to the fast runners throughout a marathon.
Fatigue; endurance; run; biomechanics; race
The effect of footwear on the gait of children is poorly understood. This systematic review synthesises the evidence of the biomechanical effects of shoes on children during walking and running.
Study inclusion criteria were: barefoot and shod conditions; healthy children aged ≤ 16 years; sample size of n > 1. Novelty footwear was excluded. Studies were located by online database-searching, hand-searching and contact with experts. Two authors selected studies and assessed study methodology using the Quality Index. Meta-analysis of continuous variables for homogeneous studies was undertaken using the inverse variance approach. Significance level was set at P < 0.05. Heterogeneity was measured by I2. Where I2 > 25%, a random-effects model analysis was used and where I2 < 25%, a fixed-effects model was used.
Eleven studies were included. Sample size ranged from 4-898. Median Quality Index was 20/32 (range 11-27). Five studies randomised shoe order, six studies standardised footwear. Shod walking increased: velocity, step length, step time, base of support, double-support time, stance time, time to toe-off, sagittal tibia-rearfoot range of motion (ROM), sagittal tibia-foot ROM, ankle max-plantarflexion, Ankle ROM, foot lift to max-plantarflexion, 'subtalar' rotation ROM, knee sagittal ROM and tibialis anterior activity. Shod walking decreased: cadence, single-support time, ankle max-dorsiflexion, ankle at foot-lift, hallux ROM, arch length change, foot torsion, forefoot supination, forefoot width and midfoot ROM in all planes. Shod running decreased: long axis maximum tibial-acceleration, shock-wave transmission as a ratio of maximum tibial-acceleration, ankle plantarflexion at foot strike, knee angular velocity and tibial swing velocity. No variables increased during shod running.
Shoes affect the gait of children. With shoes, children walk faster by taking longer steps with greater ankle and knee motion and increased tibialis anterior activity. Shoes reduce foot motion and increase the support phases of the gait cycle. During running, shoes reduce swing phase leg speed, attenuate some shock and encourage a rearfoot strike pattern. The long-term effect of these changes on growth and development are currently unknown. The impact of footwear on gait should be considered when assessing the paediatric patient and evaluating the effect of shoe or in-shoe interventions.
We examined the effect of an acute bout of treadmill running with rubber tube (RT) and without rubber tube (NT) elastic constraints on electromyographic (EMG), 3D kinematics variability, and blood lactate concentration (LA). In the RT test, the constraints were attached to the hips and ankles. The selected variables were compared between 30 min of NT running and 30 minutes of RT running in 13 healthy recreationally trained male runners who had no prior exposure to RT. Statistical analysis revealed significantly higher EMG variability (p < 0.01) and muscle activity (p < 0.05) during RT compared to NT that decreased over time approaching NT, indicating movement pattern adaptation. 3D-kinematics and their variability remained generally unaltered. Changes occurred predominantly in the sagittal plane, specifically to the knee and the swing. A significant increase in LA was measured at the end of RT (p < 0.05). These findings suggest that RT running influences muscle recruitment and variability, but has only a minor influence on kinematics. Changes in LA were significant, although relatively small. The observed adaptations in EMG and kinematics suggest that the RTs provide a possibility to create within movement variability in various sports, and thus, variable training conditions may foster strategies to increase the ability to flexibly adapt to different and new situations.
Adaptation to training device occurred quite rapidly.
Changes in muscle activity were more pronounced than kinematic changes due to the training device.
Training device may be used to increase within-movement variability.
Participants may learn to flexibly adapt to variable constraints.
Treadmill running variance ratio; 3-D analysis, EMG.
Knowledge of the kinetic changes that occur during sloped running is important in understanding the adaptive gait-control mechanisms at work and can provide additional information about the poorly understood relationship between injury and changes in kinetic forces in the lower extremity. A study of these potential kinetic changes merits consideration, because training and return-to-activity programs are potentially modifiable factors for tissue stress and injury risk.
To contribute further to the understanding of hill running by quantifying the 3-dimensional alterations in joint kinetics during moderately sloped decline, level, and incline running in a group of healthy runners.
Three-dimensional motion analysis laboratory.
Patients or Other Participants:
Nineteen healthy young runners/joggers (age = 25.3 ± 2.5 years).
Participants ran at 3.13 m/s on a treadmill under the following 3 different running-surface slope conditions: 4° decline, level, and 4° incline.
Main Outcome Measure(s):
Lower extremity joint moments and powers and the 3 components of the ground reaction force.
Moderate changes in running-surface slope had a minimal effect on ankle, knee, and hip joint kinetics when velocity was held constant. Only changes in knee power absorption (increased with decline-slope running) and hip power (increased generation on incline-slope running and increased absorption on decline-slope running in early stance) were noted. We observed an increase only in the impact peak of the vertical ground reaction force component during decline-slope running, whereas the nonvertical components displayed no differences.
Running style modifications associated with running on moderate slopes did not manifest as changes in 3-dimensional joint moments or in the active peaks of the ground reaction force. Our data indicate that running on level and moderately inclined slopes appears to be a safe component of training regimens and return-to-run protocols after injury.
biomechanics; decline running; incline running; joint moments; joint power
Dynamic joint loading, particularly the external knee adduction moment (KAM), is an important surrogate measure for the medio-lateral distribution of force across the knee joint in people with knee osteoarthritis (OA). Foot motion may alter the load on the medial tibiofemoral joint and hence affect the KAM. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the relationship between tibia, rearfoot and forefoot motion in the frontal and transverse planes and the KAM in people with medial compartment knee OA.
Motion of the knee, tibia, rearfoot and forefoot and knee moments were evaluated in 32 patients with clinically and radiographically-confirmed OA, predominantly in the medial compartment. Pearson’s correlation coefficient was used to investigate the association between peak values of tibia, rearfoot and forefoot motion in the frontal and transverse planes and 1st peak KAM, 2nd peak KAM, and the knee adduction angular impulse (KAAI).
Lateral tilt of the tibia was significantly associated with increased 1st peak KAM (r = 0.60, p < 0.001), 2nd peak KAM (r = 0.67, p = 0.001) and KAAI (r = 0.82, p = 0.001). Increased peak rearfoot eversion was significantly correlated with decreased 2nd peak KAM (r = 0.59, p < 0.001) and KAAI (r = 0.50, p = 0.004). Decreased rearfoot internal rotation was significantly associated with increased 2nd peak KAM (r = −0.44, p = 0.01) and KAAI (r = −0.38, p = 0.02), while decreased rearfoot internal rotation relative to the tibia was significantly associated with increased 2nd peak KAM (r = 0.43, p = 0.01). Significant negative correlations were found between peak forefoot eversion relative to the rearfoot and 2nd peak KAM (r = −0.53, p = 0.002) and KAAI (r = −0.51, p = 0.003) and between peak forefoot inversion and 2nd peak KAM (r = −0.54, p = 0.001) and KAAI (r = −0.48, p = 0.005).
Increased rearfoot eversion, rearfoot internal rotation and forefoot inversion are associated with reduced knee adduction moments during the stance phase of gait, suggesting that medial knee joint loading is reduced in people with OA who walk with greater foot pronation. These findings have implications for the design of load-modifying interventions in people with knee OA.
Knee osteoarthritis; Foot motion; Knee adduction moment
Patients with diabetic polyneuropathy (DPN) are often confronted with ulceration of foot soles. Increased plantar pressure under the forefoot has been identified as a major risk factor for ulceration. This study sets out to test the hypothesis that changes in gait characteristics induced by DPN related muscle weakness are the origin of the elevated plantar pressures.
Three groups of subjects participated: people diagnosed with diabetes without polyneuropathy (DC), people diagnosed with diabetic polyneuropathy (DPN) and healthy, age-matched controls (HC). In all subjects isometric strength of plantar and dorsal flexors was assessed. Moreover, joint moments at ankle, knee and hip joints were determined while walking barefoot at a velocity of 1.4 m/s. Simultaneously plantar pressure patterns were measured.
Compared to HC-subjects, DPN-participants walked with a significantly increased internal plantar flexor moment at the first half of the stance phase. Also in DPN-subjects the maximal braking and propelling force applied to the floor was decreased. Moreover, in DPN-subjects the ratio of forefoot-to-rear foot plantar pressures was increased. Body-mass normalized strength of dorsal flexors showed a trend to be reduced in people with diabetes, both DC and DPN, compared to HC-subjects. Plantar flexors tended to be less weak in DC compared to HC and in DPN relative to DC.
The results of this study suggest that adverse plantar pressure patterns are associated with redistribution of joint moments, and a consequent reduced capacity to control forward velocity at heel strike.
The effects of running wheel activity on food intake and meal patterns were measured under several cost conditions for food in CD 1 mice. In a first experiment, voluntary wheel running activity increased daily food intake relative to a sedentary group, and runners consumed bigger but fewer meals. Although they ate more, runners had significantly lower body fat than sedentary mice. In a second experiment, running was used as an approach cost and food access was contingent on running wheel activity. Mice were able to emit more wheel revolution responses compared to a condition in which nose poking was the approach response. In both voluntary and foraging running protocols mice had inelastic demand functions compared to the non-running groups. When running was voluntary (experiment 1), the day-night cycle for activity was more pronounced compared to when running was a foraging or approach activity (experiment 2).
Mouse; food intake; meal size; foraging; exercise
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries have been reported to occur with the ankle in a dorsiflexed position at initial contact. Few studies have attempted to quantify the biomechanical parameters related with such landing patterns during athletic tasks.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects that two landing techniques have in lower extremity biomechanics while performing two tasks.
Single-group repeated measures design.
Twenty female soccer athletes from a Division I institution performed two landing techniques (forefoot and rearfoot) during two unanticipated tasks (sidestep cutting and pivot). Repeated measures analyses of variance were conducted to assess differences in the kinematic and kinetic parameters between landing techniques for each task.
The forefoot landing technique had significantly higher internal knee adductor moment than the rearfoot for both the pivot and sidestep cutting task (p<0.001 and p=0.003, respectively). For the sidestep cutting task, participants had increased knee valgus angle with the rearfoot, whereas for the pivot they had increased knee valgus with the forefoot landing technique (p<0.05).
The results of this study highlighted that there are inherent differences in biomechanical outcomes between foot-landing techniques. The forefoot landing technique increasingly affects knee adduction moment loading, which can potentially place a higher strain on the ACL. Essentially, the demands of the landing technique on lower extremity biomechanics (e.g., hip and knee) are task dependent.
pivot; sidestep; kinematics; kinetics; landing technique
Frontal plane running mechanics may contribute to the etiology or exacerbation of common running related injuries. Hip strengthening alone may not change frontal plane hip and knee joint running mechanics. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate whether a training program including visual, verbal, and tactile feedback affects hip and knee joint frontal plane running mechanics among females with evidence of altered weight bearing kinematics.
The knee frontal plane projection angle of 69 apparently healthy females was determined during a single leg squat. The twenty females from this larger sample who exhibited the most acute frontal plane projection angle (medial knee position) during this activity were chosen to participate in this study (age = 20 ± 1.6 years, height = 167.9 ± 6.0 cm, mass = 63.2 ± 8.3 kg, Tegner Activity Rating mode = 7.0). Participants engaged in a 4‐week movement training program using guided practice during weight bearing exercises with visual, verbal, and tactile feedback regarding lower extremity alignment. Paired t‐tests were used to compare frontal plane knee and hip joint angles and moments before and after the training program.
After training, internal hip and knee abduction moments during running decreased by 23% (P=0.007) and 29% (P=0.033) respectively. Knee adduction and abduction excursion decreased by 2.1° (P = 0.050) and 2.7° (P=0.008) respectively, suggesting that less frontal plane movement of the knee occurred during running after training. Peak knee abduction angle decreased 1.8° after training (P=0.051) although this was not statistically significant. Contralateral peak pelvic drop, pelvic drop excursion, peak hip adduction angle, hip adduction excursion, and peak knee adduction angle were unchanged following training.
A four week movement training program may reduce frontal plane hip and knee joint mechanics thought to contribute to the etiology and exacerbation of some running related injuries.
Level of Evidence:
female; kinematics; kinetics; neuromuscular training; rehabilitation
Recent studies of sprinters and distance runners have suggested that variations in human foot proportions and plantarflexor muscle moment arm correspond to the level of sprint performance or running economy. Less clear, however, is whether differences in muscle moment arm are mediated by altered tendon paths or by variation in the centre of ankle joint rotation. Previous measurements of these differences have relied upon assumed joint centres and measurements of bone geometry made externally, such that they would be affected by the thickness of the overlying soft tissue. Using magnetic resonance imaging, we found that trained sprinters have shorter plantarflexor moment arms (p = 0.011) and longer forefoot bones (p = 0.019) than non-sprinters. The shorter moment arms of sprinters are attributable to differences in the location of the centre of rotation (p < 0.001) rather than to differences in the path of the Achilles tendon. A simple computer model suggests that increasing the ratio of forefoot to rearfoot length permits more plantarflexor muscle work during plantarflexion that occurs at rates expected during the acceleration phase following the sprint start.
humans; sprinting; plantarflexor; moment arm; centre of rotation
Clinicians frequently assess movement performance during a bilateral squat to observe the biomechanical effects of foot orthotic prescription. However, the effects of rearfoot position on bilateral squat kinematics have not been established objectively to date. This study aims to investigate these effects in a population of healthy adults with a pronated foot type.
Ten healthy participants with a pronated foot type bilaterally (defined as a navicular drop >9mm) performed three squats in each of three conditions: barefoot, standing on 10mm shoe pitch platforms and standing on the platforms with foam wedges supporting the rearfoot in subtalar neutral. Kinematic data was recorded using a 3D motion analysis system. Between-conditions changes in peak joint angles attained were analysed.
Peak ankle dorsiflexion (p=0.0005) and hip abduction (p=0.024) were significantly reduced, while peak knee varus (p=0.028) and flexion (p=0.0005) were significantly increased during squatting in the subtalar neutral position compared to barefoot. Peak subtalar pronation decreased by 5.33° (SD 4.52°) when squatting on the platforms compared to barefoot (p=0.006), but no additional significant effects were noted in subtalar neutral.
Significant changes in lower limb kinematics may be observed during bilateral squatting when rearfoot alignment is altered. Shoe pitch alone may significantly reduce peak pronation during squatting in this population, but additional reductions were not observed in the subtalar neutral position. Further research investigating the effects of footwear and the subtalar neutral position in populations with lower limb pathology is required.
orthotics; squat; lower limb; kinematics; pronation
The incidence of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries among females continues at disproportionate rates compared to males, with research indicating inconclusive multifactorial causality. Data from previous retrospective studies suggest an effect of abnormal foot and ankle bio-mechanics on pathology at the knee, including the ACL.
To determine if a relationship exists between plantar foot loading patterns during normal gait and high risk biomechanics purported to increase risk of ACL injury.
Dynamic barefoot plantar pressure distribution was measured on 33 female collegiate soccer players. Groups were divided according to their predominant gait loading pattern (medial or lateral). Three dimensional (3-D) motion analysis was conducted during drop vertical jumps to assess vertical ground reaction force and discrete angle and joint moment variables of the lower extremities.
No significant differences occured in sagittal or coronal plane knee joint kinematics and kinetics between the medial and lateral loading groups.
Dynamic foot and ankle biomechanics during gait do not appear to be related to lower extremity kinematics or kinetics during landing in collegiate female soccer players.
The exact cause of the abnormal differences in female landing biomechanics has not been irrefutably defined. This study suggests no effect of foot and ankle biomechanics exists on the landing mechanics of female soccer players.
anterior cruciate ligament; foot pressures; valgus; pronation
The purpose of this study was to evaluate how soft tissue surgery for correcting equinus deformity affects the kinematic and kinetic parameters of the ankle and proximal joints. Sixteen children with spastic hemiplegic cerebral palsy and equinus deformities (age range 3-16 years) were included. Soft tissue surgeries were performed exclusively on the ankle joint area in all subjects. Using computerized gait analysis (Vicon 370 Motion Analysis System), the kinematic and kinetic parameters during barefoot ambulation were collected preoperatively and postoperatively. In all 16 children, the abnormally increased ankle plantar flexion and pelvis anterior tilting on the sagittal plane were significantly improved without a weakening of push-off (p < 0.05). In a group of 8 subjects with a recurvatum knee gait pattern before operation, the postoperative kinematic and kinetic parameters of the knee joint were significantly improved (p < 0.05). In a group of 8 subjects with ipsilateral pelvic external rotation before operation, the postoperative pelvic deviations on the transverse plane were significantly decreased (p < 0.05). These findings suggest that the soft tissue surgery for correcting equinus deformity improves not only the abnormal gait pattern of the ankle, but also that of the knee and pelvis.
Cerebral palsy; equinus; soft tissue surgery; gait analysis