A Kinematic and Kinetic Investigation using Endurance runners comparing the Potential Injury Risks Involved in Barefoot and Shod Running
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background: Endurance running is becoming increasingly popular due to its affordable nature, barefoot and minimalistic running is also becoming more prominent. In the past 10 years, chronic injury rates in endurance running have risen and this has seen research into the kinematic and kinetic properties of endurance running to be investigated in an aim to determine the risk factors related to chronic injury development. Purpose: The purpose of the current study is to investigate the kinematic and kinetic changes involved when participants are asked to run both barefoot and shod. The data will be used to deduce potential injury risks associated with the changes. Method: 13 participants were asked to run 25m at their own 5 kilometre pace, they had CODA motion markers attached onto their dominant leg at 5 anatomical landmarks; 5th meta-tarsal phalangeal joint (MTP), lateral malleolus (ankle), knee joint center, greater trochanter of the femur (hip) and the humeral head (shoulder) which would analysed vector angle changes at the hip, knee and ankle. Contact was made with their dominant leg with a force plate which allowed for vertical ground reaction force data (VGRF) and center of pressure (CoP) data to be extracted and analysed. Results: Significant differences were identified between footwear conditions in a selection of variables including; the vector angle of the ankle at touchdown (TD) (p<0.04) and take-off (TO) (p=0.001), maximum VGRF (p=0.04), peak passive impact force (p< 0.001), time of peak passive impact force (p<0.02) and time of peak active impact force (p<0.01). Conclusion: The current study concluded that in the sample used, there were minimal changes between footwear conditions; however a key finding was the significant increase in plantar flexion in the shod condition which may have been a cause a more prominent forefoot placement. It was also concluded that higher peak passive impact forces significantly increased in the barefoot condition as a direct cause of a lack of cushioning between the foot and the ground. It was concluded that barefoot running would increase the risk of stress fracture development due to the high impact forces and foot strike utilised.
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