Well-aligned, soft landings

Runner with increased hip drop, knee valgus, and foot pronation.

Runner with increased hip drop, knee valgus, and foot pronation.

 
Vertical ground reaction force of a RFS, MFS, and FFS. Note the impact force of the RFS.

Vertical ground reaction force of a RFS, MFS, and FFS. Note the impact force of the RFS.

Running injuries are the result of overloading the musculoskeletal system.  This can be a function of overtraining, as well as faulty mechanics.  Most runners experience approximately 1000 landings per mile on each foot.  For a runner training 20 miles per week, this accumulates into 1 million landings per foot, per year and faulty mechanics can quickly add up to an injury.

Faulty mechanics can be broken down into abnormal alignment and increased impact loading.  Abnormal alignment can take many forms including excessive foot pronation, excessive toe-out/toe in, excessive knee valgus and excessive hip drop.    

Regarding loading, when runners land on their heels (rearfoot strike – RFS), they experience a quick rise to peak in the ground reaction forces that is reduced in a midfoot striker (MFS) and eliminated in a forefoot striker (FFS).  The harder one hits the ground, the steeper the first rise to peak, and the faster the body experiences the loading.  Faster loading, or increased loadrates, have been shown to be related to many common running-related injuries.   

Therefore, our goal is to train our patients to run with well-aligned, soft landings.  This is the foundation for our approach.