Effects of a 10 week footstrike transition in habitual rearfoot runners with patellofemoral pain

Sinclair, Jonathan Kenneth orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2231-3732 (2016) Effects of a 10 week footstrike transition in habitual rearfoot runners with patellofemoral pain. Comparative Exercise Physiology, 12 (3). pp. 141-150. ISSN 1755-2540

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3920/CEP160013


Patellofemoral pain is the most common pathology in runners. Mid/fore foot runners experience lower patellofemoral loading compared to those who use a rearfoot strike. The aim of this study was to examine the efficacy of a 10-week intervention allowing runners with patellofemoral pain to transition from a rearfoot strike pattern. Nine male runners with patellofemoral pain were given a graduated 10-week program which allowed them to convert their habitual rearfoot strike pattern. Lower extremity kinematics, tibial accelerations, loading rates, patellofemoral kinetics and Achilles tendon kinetics were collected. Self-reported knee and Achilles tendon pain were examined using the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score and numeric pain rating scale. Data were collected before and after the 10-week transition. Reductions were found in peak patellofemoral force/ pressure (pre transition = 4.76BW & 13.10MPa & post transition = 4.27BW & 11.48MPa). Improvements were shown for Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score subscales pain (pre transition = 62.04 & post transition = 78.41), sport (pre transition = 53.61 & post transition = 72.67), function and daily living (pre transition = 67.68 & post transition = 80.08). Increases were however found for peak Achilles tendon force (pre transition = 5.07BW & post transition = 5.58BW) and Achilles tendon pain (pre transition = 1.06 & post transition = 2.67). Transitioning from a rearfoot strike pattern reduces patellofemoral loading and pain symptoms. The key implication is that rearfoot strike runners with patellofemoral pain can reduce their pain symptoms by altering their footstrike pattern; although this may be at the expense of increased pain at the Achilles tendon.

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