Using real‐time biofeedback to alter running biomechanics: A randomized controlled trial

Review written by Tom Goom info

Key Points

  1. The majority of runners appear able to switch to a non-rearfoot strike after a single session of gait re-training.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

The holy grail in running research has long been to find a way to prevent running injury. One approach that has been suggested is to change a runner’s foot-strike away from the common rearfoot strike (AKA heel striking) and towards landing on the forefoot. Its advocates have suggested this may reduce stress on the knee and reduce impact loading, leading to a reduction in injury rates. This study examined two methods of re-training runners to a non-rearfoot strike to examine their effectiveness and impact on running injury.

Forefoot striking advocates claim that this foot-strike pattern may reduce stress on the knee and reduce impact loading, leading to a reduction in injury rates.
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A single session of gait retraining with video feedback and appropriate cues does appear to be sufficient to promote a lasting change in running gait.

METHODS

128 non-injured runners (Department of Defence recruits between the ages of 18 and 50) were recruited and randomized into two groups: a control group and a biofeedback group. Both groups had 4 weeks of calf strengthening and stretching and received

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