Running Retraining shows promise in treatment and prevention of running injuries.
Running retraining is a two step process:
- Identifying modifiable running mechanics which may cause injury.
- Supplying visual, verbal, audible and tactile cues which help to alter these mechanics and relieve / prevent pain.
Evidence exists linking poor biomechanics to various running-related injuries. Examples of common biomechanical flaws leading to injury include excessive hip adduction and internal rotation (scissoring / inwardly turned thighs), and faulty ankle / foot biomechanics.
2 studies showed verbal cues could lead to reduced hip adduction during running: a common cause of patellofemoral (kneecap) pain.
Another 2 studies showed that anterior shin pain (shin splints) could be lessened with verbal cues to transition from rearfoot to forefoot strike in combination with reducing overstriding by increasing step rate.
Experts anecdotally (with the support of 46 studies) suggest running retraining could help with a number of running injuries apart from patellofemoral pain and shin splints including iliotibial band syndrome, plantar fasciopathy (fasciitis), achilles tendinopathy, patellar tendinopathy, proximal hamstring / gluteal tendinopathy, and calf pain.
- Reducing over-stride and impact is beneficial for most running-related injuries.
- Transitioning from rearfoot to forefoot strike may help to lessen hip, knee and exertional lower leg problems (this strategy needs to be employed cautiously as it increases load at the foot and ankle).
- Reducing hip adduction and knee valgus (increasing step width) can reduce hip and knee injury rates.
- Although yet to be evaluated effectively, altering proximal mechanics (pelvic position) may be of benefit to certain runners.
Speak to your physio or running coach and get your running technique video recorded. They will then look for flaws and give you advice as to what you need to work on to prevent / overcome injury.
Why not join the Dunsborough Running Club (click here) or speak to us at Dunsborough Physiotherapy Centre for advice. Happy running!