a happy cerebellum = better learning

We are not sure how many of these (little) guys you treat, but this article is germane.

4 hours per day, 5 days per week. It takes time to recannalize (or re create) new (or rejuvenate old) neurological pathways.

"After only two weeks, the children in the experimental group demonstrated a significant increase in locomotor and object control skills and in gross quotient (a composite measure of both skills categories). Participants’ locomotor improvements plateaued between weeks four and eight, and object control skills improved during the first two weeks but demonstrated nonsignificant changes between weeks two and four, four and six, and six and eight. A significant gain in locomotor skills also occurred between weeks four and eight."

...and don't forget about the "neurological windows" we are always talking about. Aggressive, early intervention is indicated

"Early childhood is a sensitive time in development, and motor researchers have an opportunity to improve motor skills very early—even as young as 2 years, said Ketcheson. Early intervention may give children with ASD the ability to play and interact in age-appropriate ways with their peers entering kindergarten. Early intense motor skills instruction within a CPRT framework can be a valuable addition to practitioners’ intervention strategies aimed at improving social success for children with ASD, she said."

Get them up, get them moving!

Testing the Spinocerebellar Pathways

Though we know about the importance of the neck and gait function, like where we discussed here and here, we cannot leave out the integrity of the spincerebellar pathways. Can you test them and discern their functions? This quick video demonstrates how. Some great clinical pearls in this short segment.

Dr Ivo, one of the Gait Guys

#spinocerebellar, #pathways, #clinicaltesting, #gait, #gaitanalysis

Loaded Carry, Addendum idea

Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 9.51.59 AM.png

Recently, Jan 13th, 2018, we posted 2 photos of the Farmer's carry, in that specific case how to use it to drive more load into the hip stabilizers as opposed to the lateral abdominals. Here is how we progress someone from wide step walking corrections, we add the step up. The next progression is to be sure they do not lose the hip hike as they try to return the foot to the ground, which you do not see here. Note the kettlebell in the LEFT hand. They will have to do that (return the RIGHTfoot to the ground) through a knee bent knee mini-squat-lunge, to keep the gmedius on. Or, they can just do a controlled eccentric, but that is even more attention. Most people just let the RIGHT glutes go entirely to get the LEFT swing leg back to the ground, no bueno ! This is not normal gait, but it is what most people do because they do not have command of the glutes in the 3 phasese: early, mid and late stance. In fact, most people fail through all 3 phases, but certainly the Early and Late phases are the toughest, with the Late phase being the most challenging. The glutes should remain active through the next foot contact phase.

Details matter in a Loaded Carry.


Last night I lectured on the Cross over gait. I discussed at one point using one sided carries, a heavy farmer's carry, to stimulate more activity on the stance leg , particularly focusing on driving more hip stability. But, it matters how you do it.

Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 9.48.18 AM.png

The photos i have attached are both technically a farmers carry unilaterally. One I am working my gluteus medius and hip stabilizers more, and the other i am using my lateral abdominal chain more (more of a compensated Trendeleberg type gait, and we know that hip pain patients lean in a Trendeleberg gait to reduce the activity of the glute medius to reduce compression across the joint (2/3 reduction)). If you are trying to help your client reduce their cross over gait with more hip stability building, one of them is going to hit the mark far better than the other.
So, if your clients are walking a line in their Farmer's carry, think about what you/they are actually doing (likely less hip stability stimulation).
The exercise should fit your goal. Have them walk feet on either side of a wider balance beam to get more stance phase glute activity (try it yourself, the wider your step width the more hip loading you get), or, have them walk a line and lean more into the frontal plane to get more abdominal. It is not a perfect science, but you do get a different feel from how you do it.

But, it matters how you do it.

Pateon subscriber post.

Understanding a strange leg swing problem.
This is an olympic hopeful in the marathon from Australia who came to see us to help with some chronic injuries that she hasn't been able to get help with. We discuss the issue here in the video.

This is a Patreon subscriber VIDEO post.
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Patrons........ please comment here or on patreon and let us know if this was helpful !

Screen Shot 2019-01-13 at 7.39.56 PM.png

LLD's and Achilles Tendinopathy

Sometimes, it doesn't matter whether it is long or short.

 Achilles tendinopathy .. there are many factors that can contribute. Have you considered leg length inequality? Generally speaking, People have a tendency to overpronate on the longer leg side and under prone only shorter leg side with strain on the medial and lateral aspects of the Achilles tendon respectively. It would make sense that this could be a contributing factor.

 "The mean inequality in length of legs (ILL) was 5 +/- 4 mm. Among the 48 patients with ILL > or = 5 mm, the side affected with ruptured tendon was longer in 48% of cases and shorter in 52%. "

Age and pathology can play a role with younger, healthy tender and having greater compliance.

Proprioception is impaired on the affected side of folks with Achilles tendinopathy. This is a "chicken and the egg" scenario. Did impaired proprioception cause the tendinopathy or is the tendinopathy causing the impaired proprioception? Probably, a little bit of both.

Dr Ivo, one of The Gait Guys

Leppilahti J, Korpelainen R, Karpakka J, Kvist M, Orava S. Ruptures of the Achilles tendon: relationship to inequality in length of legs and to patterns in the foot and ankle. Foot Ankle Int. 1998 Oct;19(10):683-7.

Scholes M, Stadler S, Connell D, Barton C, Clarke RA, Bryant AL, Malliaras P. Men with unilateral Achilles tendinopathy have impaired balance on the symptomatic side. J Sci Med Sport. 2018 May;21(5):479-482. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2017.09.594. Epub 2017 Oct 6.

Intziegianni K, Cassel M, Rauf S, White S, Rector M, Kaplick H, Wahmkow G, Kratzenstein S, Mayer F. Influence of Age and Pathology on Achilles Tendon Properties During a Single-leg Jump. Int J Sports Med. 2016 Nov;37(12):973-978. Epub 2016 Aug 8.

#achilles,#tendon, #achillestendon, #tendinopathy, #proprioception

Got a kid that "toes in"?

image source: W Phillips https://somepomed.org/articulos/contents/mobipreview.htm?38/8/39046

image source: W Phillips https://somepomed.org/articulos/contents/mobipreview.htm?38/8/39046

Photo Credit: Illustration based off Jake Pett, B.F.A. and Stuart Pett,  M.D illustration for International Association for Dance Medicine and  Science 2011

Photo Credit: Illustration based off Jake Pett, B.F.A. and Stuart Pett, M.D illustration for International Association for Dance Medicine and Science 2011

image courtesy: T Michaud

image courtesy: T Michaud

Got a kid that "toes in" during gait? Are you seeing this?

  • smaller foot progression angle

  • greater knee adduction

  • more internally rotated and flexed hips

  • greater anterior pelvic tilt

Wondering what could be causing it?

We start life with the hips anteverted (ie, the angle of the neck of the femur with the shaft of the femur is > 12 degrees; in fact at birth it is around 35 degrees) and this angle should decrease as we age to about 8-12 degrees). When we stand, the heads of our femurs point anteriorly; it is just a matter of how much (ante version or ante torsion) or how little (retro version or retro torsion) that is.

The degree of version is the angle between an imaginary line drawn through the condyles of the femur and an imaginary line drawn through the head and neck of the femur. This is often referred to as the femoral neck angle or FNA.

Beginning about the 3rd month of embryological development (Lanz and Mayet 1953) and reaches about 40 degrees (with an average of 30-60 degrees) at birth. It then decreases 25-30 degrees by adulthood to 8-20 degrees with males being at the lower and females at the upper end of the range.

The angle of the femur neck to its shaft diminishes about 1.5 degrees a year until about 15 years of age. Femoral neck anteversion angle is typically symmetrical from the left side to the right side.

What causes torsion in the first place? By the sixth month in utero, the lumbar spine and hips of the fetus are fully flexed, so perhaps it is positional. Other sources say it coincides with the degree of osteogenesis. There is a growing consensus that muscular forces are responsible, particularly the iliopsoas or possibly the medial and lateral hip rotators.

Additional changes can occur after birth, particularly with sitting postures. “W” sitting or “cross legged” sitting have been associated with altering the available range of motion and thus the FNA, with the range increased in the direction the hip was held in; W sitting causing increased internal rotation and antetorsion and cross legged causing external rotation and retro torsion.

There are at least 3 reasons we need to understand torsions and versions, They can alter the progression angle of gait, they usually affect the available ranges of motion of the limb and they can alter the coronal plane orientation of the limb.

1. fermoral torsions often alter the progression angle of gait. In femoral antetorsion torsion, the knees often face inward, resulting in an intoed gait and a decreased progression angle of the foot. This can be differentiated from internal tibial torsion (ITT) by looking at the tibia and studying the position of the tibial tuberosity with respect to the foot, particularly the 2nd metatarsal. In ITT, the foot points inward while the tibial tuberosity points straight ahead. In an individual with no torsion, the tibial tuberosity lines up with the 2nd metatarsal. If the tibial tuerosity and 2nd met are lined up, and the knees still point inward, the individual probably has femoral ante torsion. Remember that a decreased progression angle is often associated with a decreased step width whereas an increased angle is often associated with an increased step width. 

2. Femoral torsions affect available ranges of motion of the limb. We remember that the thigh leg needs to internally rotate the requisite 4-6 degrees from initial contact to midstance (most folks have 40 degrees) If it is already fully internally rotated (as it may be with femoral retro torsion), that range of motion must be created or compensated for elsewhere. This, much like internal tibial torsion, can result in external rotation of the affected lower limb to create the range of motion needed.

Femoral retro torsion results in less internal rotation of the limb, and increased external rotation.

Femoral ante torsion results in less external rotation of the limb, and increased internal rotation.

3. femoral torsions usually do not effect the coronal plane orientation of the lower limb, since the “spin” is in the transverse or horizontal plane.

 

The take home message here about femoral torsions is that no matter what the cause:

  • the angle of the femur neck to shaft values that exist one to two standard deviations outside the range are considered “torsions”

  • Decreased values (ie, less than 8 degrees) are called “retro torsion” and increased values (greater than 20 degrees) are called “ante torsion”

  • Retro torsion causes a limitation of available internal rotation of the hip and an increase in external rotation

  • Ante torsion causes an increase in available internal rotation of the hip and decrease in external rotation

  • Femoral ante torsion will be perpetuated by “W” sitting (sitting on knees with the feet outside the thighs, promoting internal rotation of the femur)

  • Femoral antetorsion will be perpetuated by sitting cross legged, which forces the thigh into external rotation.

 

Great paper here

link to full text: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jor.22746/abstract;jsessionid=AC848D963DCA526402D71260BDFC91F6.f04t04

Dr Ivo, one of the Gait Guys

#gait,#gaitanalysis,#femoralneckangle, #femoraltorsion, #antetorsion, #retrotorsion, #toein

 

Changing step width alters lower extremity biomechanics during running.

Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 9.45.08 AM.png

The Cross over gait. We have been talking about this for years, our theories have been supported by the available research and years of patient care.
Here is another study that goes with our ideas, which gives it deeper clinical relevance.

Changing step width alters lower extremity biomechanics during running. Brindle RA1, Milner CE, Zhang S, Fitzhugh EC. Gait Posture. 2014

"Step width is a spatiotemporal parameter that may influence lower extremity biomechanics at the hip and knee joint. Peak hip adduction and rearfoot eversion angles decreased as step width increased from narrow to wide."
Step width influences lower extremity biomechanics in healthy runners. "When step width increased from narrow to wide, peak values of frontal plane variables decreased.

The Fredericson paper (Hip Abductor weakness in distance runners with iliotibial band syndrome) is also supportive. That paper found that increasing step width reduced the strain on the iliotibial band during running. Greater ITB strain and strain rate were found in the narrower step width condition.

We have said it, and will say it again, because someone will post here, "maybe, but all the pros when you watch then and see photos of them, they all have a very narrow step width, basically qualifying for what you guys call a Cross Over gait. So how can you make such bold statements?"
Our response would be, "every attempt at squeezing out more economy in ones gait, walking that fine line of riskier gait mechanics, is a game of playing ECONOMY vs. LIABILITY. And if you have built enough durability and conditioning into your system that you can nudge right up to that fence of RISK, you can play with those liabilities and squeeze out the economy of your gait (like the pros) with that narrower step width. Just be aware and careful, that when you are losing control, as the runs lengthen, that the LIABILITIES are increasing and thus so is the RISK for injury. Just remember, you are likely not a pro, and have not spend the time building a safe zone of durability on your system to endure narrow step width for 26 miles.

A good runner will train the frontal and rotational planes regularly as they engage in their sagittal sport of running. So that as fatigue sets in and the step width begins to narrow, they have some durability of the lower limb to sustain the risky mechanics of the narrow step width. There is a limit for everyone, when the well goes dry.

Runners, athletes . . . Even in your drills, do it correctly ! Is this Bird Dog standing up? No, look more closely.

Runners, athletes . . . Even in your drills, do it correctly !
Is this Bird Dog standing up? No, look more closely.

Screen Shot 2018-11-16 at 9.34.48 PM.png

Photo #1: pull that right swing leg outwards with your abductors/external rotators. Do not let the knee drift inwards, it will lead to that foot targeting the midline. Plus, because of the neurologic links, it will encourage the left arm to cross the mid line (see yesterdays FB blog post). The upper limb movement can shape lower limb movement. An aggressively narrow cross over gait is undesirable in many aspects, it might be more economical, but it has a wallet full of potential liabilities.
IF you train your machine in a lazy manner, it is not unlikely it will perform as such. Get that knee under the shoulder, not under your head.

Aside from that, this is a good drill. It is neurologically correct. Note that:
- the right arm is in extension and the left hip is in extension
- the left arm is in flexion and the left knee is in flexion.
This is neurologically correct cross crawling.

Screen Shot 2018-11-16 at 9.34.29 PM.png

* VERY important point:
the Bird Dog exercise is not neurologically correct for the reason of training the proper crossed patterning from a neuro perspective. Note that in the 2nd photo, the bird dog, the same left arm is in flexion, but his left leg is in EXTENSION ! If you want to use the bird dog to teach core engagement, that is one thing, but do not think you are coordinating normal gait patterns or the proper crossed response. This is why we do not use the Bird Dog with our patients, it goes against training fundamental gait patterns.
When we crawl, we use the following pattern:
- the right arm is in extension and the left hip is in extension
- the left arm is in flexion and the left knee is in flexion.

This is neurologically correct cross crawling. Don't believe us ? Get on the floor and crawl like an infant, it is no where near the bird dog exercise, in crawling the coupled crossed extension and flexion responses are NOT conflicting. So, just because the Bird Dog "sort of looks like crawling" do not get it confused with crawling, because it is not. It is a mere balance exercise, some use it for the core stability, but it is one based on UN-fundamental neurologic patterning we use every day.......something called gait, and running, things we do in our sports. So understand what message you are sending to the CNS.
We are not saying the Bird Dog does not have value, not at all, but if you are not thinking about what it actually is doing, you might be driving patterns you do not want.

Crawling and Bird Dog, a subtle but important difference.Can you see it ?

Screen Shot 2018-11-16 at 9.41.29 PM.png

Crawling and Bird Dog, a subtle but important difference.
Can you see it ?
When we crawl, as in the photo, we use the following pattern:
- the right shoulder is in extension (but it is fixed on the ground, it is the body that is moving forward/extending over this fixated point, it is approximating the flexing right hip as the knee moves up towards the hand)
- the left hip is in extension, pairing appropriately with the right shoulder extension.
- similarly, the left shoulder is in flexion (it is over head in this photo, just like in the other photo of the runner similarly doing the same patterning but standing up, meanwhile the right hip is in flexion.
* take the photo of the runner in the green shirt, and put him in a quadruped crawling pattern as you will see that it is the same pattern as the one of me in the crawling posture.
* This is not bird dog, as seen in the photo, do not confuse them.

Screen Shot 2018-11-16 at 9.34.48 PM.png

The Bird Dog exercise is not neurologically correct for the reason of training the proper crossed patterning from a neuro perspective. Note that in the 2nd photo, the bird dog, the same left arm is in flexion, but his left leg is in EXTENSION ! If you want to use the bird dog to teach core engagement, that is one thing, but do not think you are coordinating normal gait patterns or the proper crossed response. This is why we do not use the Bird Dog with our patients, it goes against training fundamental gait patterns.

This first photo of me in the black shirt is normal, natural, neurologically correct, cross crawling. Don't believe us ? Get on the floor and crawl like an infant, it is no where near the bird dog exercise, in crawling the coupled crossed extension and flexion responses are NOT conflicting. So, just because the Bird Dog "sort of looks like crawling" do not get it confused with crawling, because it is not. It is a mere balance exercise, some use it for the core stability, but it is one based on UN-fundamental neurologic patterning we use every day.......something called gait, and running, things we do in our sports. So understand what message you are sending to the CNS.
We are not saying the Bird Dog does not have value, not at all, but if you are not thinking about what it actually is doing, you might be driving patterns you do not want.

Screen Shot 2018-11-16 at 9.34.29 PM.png

3 things you can do NOW for patello femoral pain...

 

Recalcitrant PFP? In addition to your treatment regiment AND getting to THE CAUSE of the patello femoral pain (often but not always gluteus medius function), have you tried?

  • forefoot-strike running

  • increasing step rate by 10% (ie cadence)

  • "running softer"

according to this article:

"all modifications were associated with reduced patellofemoral joint force during running, compared with the participants’ normal running gait. But the modifications were also associated with immediate symptom improvement of at least one point out of 10; 62.5% of runners in the study experienced a positive symptomatic response to at least one of the gait modifications."

 

Easy to do, easy to implement

 

Esculier J-F, Bouyer LJ, Roy J-S. Immediate effects of gait retraining on symptoms and running mechanics of runners with patellofemoral pain. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2017;47(suppl 1):A9.

 

Does Manual Therapy help with OA?

Footnotes 7 - Black and Red.jpg

The answer is yes, at least according to this lit review.

The “data crunching” found that manual therapy, defined as any hands on treatment rendered, with (and without) exercise therapy resulted in reducing pain, improving function, ROM and physical performance in patients with knee OA, at least in the short term. 

Anwer et al., Effects of orthopaedic manual therapy in knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Physiother 104 (2018) 264-276.

Tibial torsion and the effect on progression angle

more tibial torsion = a change in progression angle.

How does tibial torsion impact the development of the foot progression angle?

Stratifying the data by Foot Progression Angle (FPA) revealed there were significant differences in tibial torsion among the groups and provided evidence that tibial torsion influences the direction and magnitude of the FPA. Offsetting torsions between the tibia and femur were more common in people with higher and lower FPA and had clearer patterns where the tibia tended to follow the direction of the FPA.

So, got that? The foot progression angle follows the tibial torsion...

Why do we care?

the greater the “kickstand” angle to the foot, the more we progress through the mid foot (rather than from the lateral aspect of the heel, up the lateral column, across the transverse metatarsal arch and through the 1st ray). This causes more mid foot pronation and more medial knee fall, resulting in gait inefficiency and often times in our experiences, increased knee pain.

Gait Posture. 2016 Sep;49:426-30. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2016.08.004. Epub 2016 Aug 3.
The rotational profile: A study of lower limb axial torsion, hip rotation, and the foot progression angle in healthy adults.
Hudson D1.

Improper loading of the big toe/hallux ?

Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 9.13.24 AM.png

The callus pattern indicates were friction or pressure loading is present. When the loading is too fast or aggressive, we get a blister, but when the loads a low and over time, a callus develops. It can be from rubbing up against a shoe but it can also be from loading responses through the skin.

In this case, we see the callus under the proximal hallux and slightly medially. This can indicate that the short flexor of the hallux (FHB) may be more dominant. And we see clues here, the tip of the hallux is curved up, though this is not a great photo to represent this.
When the short flexor is more dominant, the long extensor is typically more dominant, as we see here by the big toe curling up.
When these are more dominant, the long flexor and short extensor are subservient. This presents us with some tendency toward a hammer toe response, and maybe a true hammer toe over time.
Callus patterns are clues, not answers, but they are breadcrumbs as to how your client is loading, where they are loading, how aggressive the loading is and the motor patterns they could be deploying.
Look for them, and let your examination, confirm or deny your suspicions.

Happy Holidays from The Gait Guys

gnomes.jpg

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the land, and the Gait Guys were there to give St Nick a hand. 

This poor fellows knees had been in pain as of late. He had taken up running to help lose some weight. 

To his clinician he went, who prescibed an orthotic for pronation, without a look or thought, or a very methodic examination.

So across the country, Dillon, Chicago and the nation, He went to see the Gait Guys for a comprehensive evaluation.

They watched him run on the treadmill and analyzed his stride and they saw he had a heavy foot strike on one side

And his knees fell outside of center, left side more than the right and an adductory twist, from a heel cord wound too tight.

They looked at each other and at the same time said they thought that they knew what the problem was with the man who wore red.

Then they placed him on the table, with the highest efficiency, they found that he had a left sided leg length deficiency.

When his knees were straight, his feet pointed to the middle; internal tibial torsion they thought, and that solves the riddle.

An orthotic for internal torsion, without a valgus post is sure to macerate the meniscus, and turn it to toast. 

That orthotic they took, from his shoe in a jiffy and knees were more midline, now wasn’t that spiffy

and a sole lift for his shoe, to correct the difference, even though it was small, it had a significance…

And exercises they gave, to be done three times each day to anchor the medial tripod, and push off through the 1st ray. 

“Thanks Gents”, he said, as he took off running with a smile, His knees were much better, even after running a mile. 

Shawn and Ivo looked at each other feeling fulfilled, Having helped this poor fellow, and they hope they instilled

In each and every reader and follower and student, the desire to look closer and do what is prudent

Happy Holidays we wish to all our sisters and brothers, We hope we have inspired you to continue to learn and teach one another. 

 

 

The Cross Over Running Technique: A Quick Case Study

Walk on a piece of string or along a seam in the concrete or walk on the lane dividing lines on your local high school or college track. What happens ? If you walk on a single line you will find yourself more unstable as compared to walking with a foot fall directly under your hips and knees the way it is supposed to occur. The limbs are a pendulum and economy and biomechanical efficiency as well as injury reduction will occur when the parts operate in the most effective manner.

We have all of our cross over runners, as you see her doing in the first half of this video before she corrects to anti-cross over (ie. natural), first walk on a line. In our case we use the metal drainage grate outside our office that you see in the video for just that purpose, they walk the grate. Then they run the grate. We ask them to feel how unstable they are in the frontal plane walking the grate. Then we have them walk with their feet only touching the outer edges of the grate, now not crossing over. They can feel the difference, the increased stability. They all say it is easier to walk with the thighs, knees and feet all barely scuffing past one another but after they feel the other most will comment that they can see and feel how lazy their gait and running gait have become. They can feel the better posture, more gluteals and more power that an anti-cross over gait affords them. Then they run the grate again. Then they run the edges of the grate. You see this skill builder in the video above.

In this video clip, after 60 seconds of coaching, this top NCAA distance track athlete (often injured) was able to make the change immediately. You can see after just a few strides the immediate and dramatic change in her gait. We then had her drift back and forth between lazy cross over and the corrected anti-cross over gait. We do this so that on her long runs, when she notices the inside shoes scuff past one another, when they notice the feet begin to run on a line, when the thighs begin brushing past each other that she can immediately make the correction. It will happen often during the beginning stages of developing the new neurologic skill pattern. Motor pattern learning takes up to 12 weeks before the neuroplasticity becomes more worthy of the dominant pattern of choice.

We have all of our athletes head over to the oval track and run not in the lanes, but on the line. To be precise, they run with their feet on either side of the line, making sure they have that visual feedback for the correction. They run over the line. We drove past a local high school the other day and saw the entire girls cross country team on the track running not in the lanes, but over the lines. We smiled big, and long. We know the coach, he follows our stuff, and he will prevent so many injuries this year in his runners. They have a 15 minute pre-run warm up and skill building for their runners. They will be competitive at the State level once again because they will show up with everyone healthy and free of injury, we can only hope. They will have a better chance than others who keep doing what they did last year, and the year before that, and the year before that.

If you are doing what you did last year in your training, expect last years results.

Want to know more? Join Dr Allen this Wednesday evening on onlineCE.com, Biomechanics 316

Barefoot running is Barefoot running. There is no substitute

umage source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:06patriotsrun5.jpg

umage source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:06patriotsrun5.jpg

There is nothing quite like running barefoot .. literally ..

There are few studies which examined barefoot versus simulated barefoot versus shod running and this is one of them (1). The forefoot strike pattern and shorter stride length (or increased cadence, provided velocity is constant) often associated with barefoot running, as well as simulated barefoot running seems, to decrease vertical impact loading rates, depending upon the angle of the foot on landing and seem desirable for decreasing injury risk (2-4).

Running barefoot has the greatest amount of ankle dorsiflexion, plantar flexion and thus total range of motion with the knee flexion angle being the least when comparing it to shod and stimulated barefoot running. stride length was shorter and cadence increased, as was suspected and has been reported in many other studies. It is surprising that and stimulated barefoot running, the forefoot strike was there however cadence and stride length did not really change.

In short, the runners were able to simulate some elements of barefoot running, but they did not completely mimic it.

Want to know more? Join us this Wednesday on onlinece.com: Biomechanics 303 for a lively discussion of barefoot running and more. 8 EST, 7 CST, 6 MST, 5PST

  1. Leblanc M, Ferkranus H. Lower Extremity Joint Kinematics of Shod, Barefoot, and Simulated Barefoot Treadmill Running. Int J Exerc Sci. 2018;11(1):717-729.

    link to FREE FULL TEXT: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6033505/#b31-ijes-11-1-717

  2. Shih Y, Lin KL, Shiang TY. Is the foot striking pattern more important than barefoot or shod conditions in running? Gait Posture. 2013;88(4):116–120. [PubMed]

  3. Hobara H, Sato T, Sakaguchi M, Nakazawa K. Step frequency and lower extremity loading during running. Int J Sports Med. 2012;2012;33:310–313. [PubMed]

  4. Thompson MA, Lee SS, Seegmiller J, McGowan CP. Kinematic and kinetic comparison of barefoot and shod running in mid/forefoot and rearfoot strike runners. Gait Posture. 2015;41:957–959. [PubMed]

Barefoot vs Shoes...It's about the strike pattern


Footnotes 7 - Black and Red.jpg

“The influence of strike patterns on running is more significant than shoe conditions, which was observed in plantar pressure characteristics. Heel-toe running caused a significant impact force on the heel, but cushioned shoes significantly reduced the maximum loading rate. Meanwhile, although forefoot running can prevent impact, peak plantar pressure was centered at the forefoot for a long period, inducing a potential risk of injury in the metatarsus/phalanx. Plantar pressure on the forefoot with RFS was lesser and push-off force was greater when cushioned shoes were used than when running barefoot.”


takeaways from the study?

  • forefoot strike reduces heel impact

  • rear foot strike reduces forefoot impact

  • forefoot strike increases and prolongs pressures (in shoes) on the forefoot which could potentially cause forefoot problems

  • cushioned shoes do not really change impact force but change (reduce) the rate of loading

  • in a forefoot strike, pressures are shifted more to the mid foot

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Sun XYang YWang LZhang XFu W. Do Strike Patterns or Shoe Conditions have a Predominant Influence on Foot Loading? J Hum Kinet. 2018 Oct 15;64:13-23. doi: 10.1515/hukin-2017-0205. eCollection 2018 Sep.

link to FREE FULL TEXT: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6231350/