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Does Running Form Affect Rate of Injuries?

A recent article highlighted in the New York Times in the February 8th 2012 edition discussed a study published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise .  It looked at the incidence of injuries  among runners who favor heel striking compared to forefoot striking.  Apparently they indicated a two fold increase in heel strikers rates of injury when examining a group of runners from Harvard.   Another researcher Dr Nicholas Romanov has developed the Pose method of running and has studied word class runners and noted only 15% adopted a heel strike pattern of motion.  He surmised this was based on a greater efficiency and in turn less chance of injury.
My Main Points on Running Form and Training:

  • If you are attempting to change your current form do it gradually
  • DO NOT adopt forefoot running and barefoot running at the same time
  • Avoid treadmills for routine running because it is different in stride rate and foot strike pattern
  • Injury prevention is a goal for any patient but adopting a a forefoot strike style of running in the absence of a consistent pattern is probably not worth it- if your running style is working for you leave it alone!

If you are suffering from a series of chronic musculoskeletal injuries you may  benefit from a injury screen from a orthopedic or sports physical therapist to rule out the influence of range of motion and strength deficits.  I hope this helps all my runners from Paramus, Ridgewood and the surrounding Bergen County area. Keep running!
Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus, NJ provides orthopedic and sports physical therapy services for the greater Ridgewood, Paramus, and Bergen County region.  This blog is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. The views expressed here are the author’s views and should be taken as suggestions. Always consult your physician or physical therapist before engaging in a physical therapy or rehabilitative regimen.

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
Tom Willemann

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