Gait Retraining: be careful.

Compensations and adaptive motor patterns that alter the normal joint mechanics can cause injury.

This study discusses whether a 10% increase in running cadence has a correlation to injury incidence. 

“With increased cadence, there was a decrease in peak knee flexion and a later occurrence of peak knee flexion and internal rotation and shank internal rotation. Segment coordination was altered with most changes occurring in mid-late stance. Coordination variability decreased with an increase in cadence across all couples and phases of gait. These results suggest examination of coordination and its variability could give insight into the risk of intervention-induced injury.”

The paper discusses the reorganization of movement patterns.  It is suggested that one follow our SES (Skill, Endurance, Strength) principles as adaptation ensues.  Gain safe skill on the new pattern and drive it suboptimally at high repetition (ie. gain endurance on the new skill set).  Then heighten the skill again, and then again drive more endurance on it.  Then add some strength, then more skill, then more endurance,  … . rinse and repeat).

Anything too much, too fast, for too long is a risk. The CNS needs time for adaptation. Any change, even if globally deemed good, can be a problem. 

The Gait Guys

Changes in coordination and its variability with an increase in running cadence. 
Jocelyn F Hafera*, Julia Freedman Silvernailb, Howard J Hillstromc & Katherine A Boyera Accepted: 20 Oct 2015Published online: 20 Nov 2015