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A recent editorial was published in BJSM 1 following a randomised clinical trial (RCT) conducted by our research team, which compared three rehabilitation programmes in runners with patellofemoral pain (PFP).2 In Dr Davis’ editorial, it was stated that our running intervention was not optimal due to a heterogeneous sample, unstandardised gait modifications and unstructured retraining schedule. While several interesting arguments were presented, readers must keep in mind that the current level of evidence on gait retraining for injured runners is far from conclusive.
Previous studies on gait retraining for runners with PFP have addressed specific running mechanics such as rearfoot striking or excessive hip adduction.3 4 However, not all runners with PFP show ‘altered’ mechanics, and PFP is not specific to rearfoot strikers (non-rearfoot strikers also develop PFP). In fact, training errors are thought to contribute to running injuries even in those with ‘optimal’ mechanics.5 Aiming to maximise the external validity of our RCT, we included runners regardless of distal or proximal kinematics, and prescribed individualised …
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