February 2016

Preventive measures in cross country runners should target ankle kinematics

In the moment: Sports medicine

By Jordana Bieze Foster

Ankle kinematics prospectively predict injury risk in collegiate cross country runners, according to prospective research from the University of Memphis in Tennessee.

Investigators used a motion analysis system and a force plate to assess the running gait of 19 cross country athletes prior to the start of their competitive season; 10 of those runners sustained injuries during the season.

Ankle eversion range of motion and peak eversion velocity at baseline were significantly higher in the uninjured athletes than their injured counterparts, while peak eversion angle was significantly greater at baseline in the injured runners than the uninjured runners. Peak loading rate of the vertical ground reaction force, which is thought to be a risk factor for some running-related injuries, did not differ significantly between groups. Strike index, dorsiflexion range of motion, and eversion duration were also similar for the two groups.

The findings, epublished in January by Human Movement Science, suggest that interventions designed to address ankle eversion, eversion velocity, and eversion angle may help prevent running-related injuries in cross country runners.


Kuhman DJ, Paquette MR, Peel SA, Melcher DA. Comparison of ankle kinematics and ground reaction forces between prospectively injured and unin­jured collegiate cross country runners. Hum Mov Sci 2016 Jan 28. [Epub ahead of print]

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