May 2012

Research links lower extremity symptoms of overuse to kinematics, training habits #2154682

By Jordana Bieze Foster

Lower extremity kinematics and training habits affect risk of overuse injury in runners, according to research from the University of Tubingen in Germany.

Investigators performed baseline kinematic testing on 104 healthy runners and followed them prospectively for 12 months or until diagnosis of an overuse injury, whichever came first. Thirty-five runners developed overuse injuries, including 12 in the knee and 18 in the foot.

Injured runners ran more kilometers per week than their uninjured counterparts and were more likely to have training regimens that emphasized fast endurance training and deemphasized slow regenerative exercise. Slow training accounted for up to 25% of training sessions in the uninjured runners.

“Changes in training habits seem to have the most influence on the development of overuse injuries,” said Tobias Hein, a researcher in the Department of Sports Medicine at the university, who presented the group’s findings at the i-FAB congress.

Foot injuries were associated with increased ankle range of motion (ROM), decreased rearfoot eversion ROM, and decreased maximum rearfoot eversion velocity. Knee injuries were associated with increases in rearfoot eversion and plantar flexion ROM and rearfoot eversion and plantar flexion velocity.

Footwear did not contribute significantly to injury risk, Hein said.


Hein T, Janssen P, Wagner-Fritz U, Grau S. Do lower extremity kinematics and training variables affect the development of overuse injuries in runners? A prospective study. Presented at 3rd International Foot and Ankle Biomechanics Congress, Sydney, April 2012.

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