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IJHKSS Abstract

Increased running pace increases net joint moment at the ankle more than at the knee in recreational runners 

Ditte Nielsen Bredahl1, Rasmus Oestergaard Nielsen 1,3, Jesper Petersen1, Dennis Brandborg Nielsen 2*, Henrik Sørensen1

  1Department of Public Health, Section of Sport Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.
2Institute of Clinical Research, Orthopaedics Research Unit, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark.
3Orthopaedic Surgery Research Unit, Science and Innovation Center, Aalborg, Denmark.

Accepted November 15, 2013

The understanding of safe and harmful training programs for runners may be improved by investigating whether running at different paces affects relative joint loads. In an experimental cross-sectional study, the change in peak ankle joint moment (∆A) was compared to the change in peak knee joint moment (∆K) following an increase in running pace. Twelve healthy recreational runners (6 female and 6 male, age 25.7±2.64, BMI 22.4±2.03) utilizing a rear-foot strike were included. Running kinematics was recorded with 8 high-speed motion capture cameras to calculate the net joint moments at the ankle (A) and at the knee (K). An increase in A (2.67 ± 0.44 N∙m∙kg-1 to 3.00 ± 0.50 N∙m∙kg-1) was found while no increase was found in K (1.60 ± 0.33 N∙m∙kg-1 to 1.58 ± 0.49 N∙m∙kg-1) following a change in running pace from slow (70% of the 5 km pace) to fast (5 km pace). The ∆A was statistical significantly greater than ∆K (0.35 N∙m∙kg-1 [95% CI: 0.07; 0.63], P = .02). The result suggests that running faster increases the load at the ankle joint more than the load at the knee joint. This knowledge may be used in the design of training programs for recreational runners at risk of developing running-related injuries at the ankle or at the knee.


Keywords: Biomechanics, etiology, running-related injury.

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