The effect of fatigue on plantar pressure distribution during running in view of running injuries
© Willems et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2012
Published: 10 April 2012
Several risk factors for the development of running injuries have been identified, however, the etiology is still not completely clear . A number of prospective studies have identified gait-related risk factors for lower leg overuse injuries [2–6]. On the other hand, running injuries only develop by overloading the lower extremity. Fatigue can therefore be hypothesized to be a primary contributing factor. However, in determining injury etiology the relationship between the injury, the gait-related risk factors and overloading by fatigue is a complex model and the amount of contribution of each factor is difficult to assess. It might therefore be interesting to check 1) the interaction between fatigue and the roll-off pattern during running and 2)if fatigue generates specific gait-related risk factors for running injuries.
Materials and methods
Prior to and after a 20 km run, force distribution underneath the feet of 52 participants was registered using Footscan® pressure plates while the participants ran shod at a constant self-selected pace. Peak force, mean force and impulse were registered underneath different zones of the foot. In addition, temporal data were derived and a medio-lateral force ratio was calculated during the roll-off.
Several of the significantly increased variables have been identified as risk factors for running injuries as stress fractures, patella-femoral pain syndrome and exercise-related lower leg pain. The results of this study demonstrated plantar pressure alterations after long-distance running which could give additional information related to several running injuries.
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