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Infographic. Running myth: switching to a non-rearfoot strike reduces injury risk and improves running economy
  1. James L N Alexander1,2,
  2. Richard W Willy3,
  3. Christopher Napier4,5,
  4. Daniel R Bonanno6,
  5. Christian J Barton1,7
  1. 1La Trobe Sports and Exercise Research Centre, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2The Running Physiotherapist, Port Stephens, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3Department of Physical Therapy and Movement Science, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, USA
  4. 4Department of Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  5. 5Mechatronic Systems Engineering, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
  6. 6Podiatry, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  7. 7Department of Surgery, St Vincent's Hospital, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to James L N Alexander, La Trobe Sports and Exercise Research Centre, La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC 3086, Australia; j.alexander{at}latrobe.edu.au

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Endurance running is associated with high rates of injury,1 with injury causation often complex and multifactorial.2 Running biomechanics are thought to play a role in the aetiology of running-related injury.3 Therefore interventions to change running technique may assist in the prevention and management of injuries.4

The overwhelming majority of recreational shod distance runners run with a rearfoot strike pattern.5 Running with a rearfoot strike has been retrospectively associated with greater risk of running-related injury,6 and switching to a non-rearfoot strike pattern has been reported to improve symptoms in runners with anterior lower leg pain and patellofemoral pain.7 8 As such, changing strike pattern has become a commonly considered and promoted strategy when attempting to prevent and manage injury in endurance runners9 (see figure 1). Many elite …

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Footnotes

  • Twitter @JamesA_15, @rwilly2003, @runnerphysio, @DrChrisBarton

  • Contributors JLNA and CJB conceived the idea. JLNA led development of the infographic and accompanying text. All authors contributed and approved the final infographic and accompanying text.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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