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Impact frequency data suggest unique risks for forefoot strikers

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  #1  
Old 20th July 2011, 11:36 AM
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Default Impact frequency data suggest unique risks for forefoot strikers

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LER are reporting:
Impact frequency data suggest unique risks for forefoot strikers
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The frequency content of vertical ground reaction forces generated during running differ among forefoot strikers and rearfoot strikers, and this may have implications for injury risk, according to findings from the University of Massachusetts presented in June at the ACSM meeting
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Because the body attenuates shock differently at different frequencies, the findings could suggest that even forefoot strikers (including most barefoot runners) may be at risk for certain injuries despite lacking an impact peak.
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Old 20th July 2011, 11:43 AM
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Default Re: Impact frequency data suggest unique risks for forefoot strikers

Here is the abstract from the meeting:
Frequency Content of the Vertical Ground Reaction Force Component During Rearfoot and Forefoot Running Patterns
Allison H. Gruber, Irene S. Davis, Joseph Hamill
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The forefoot (FF) footfall pattern has been advocated to reduce running overuse injuries due to the lack of the impact peak in the vertical ground reaction force component (vGRF). Although the vertical impact peak has been associated with running overuse injuries, the frequency content of vGRF may provide more insight into injury mechanisms. Previous studies have found passive mechanisms, such as the deformation of bone and articular cartilage, are responsible for attenuating high frequency signals. Conversely, active mechanisms, such as eccentric muscle contractions and kinematic adjustments, attenuate low frequencies. The lack of the vertical impact peak during FF running may alter the frequency content of the vGRF therefore altering how the body tissues attenuate impact shock. PURPOSE: To determine the frequency content of the vGRF during rearfoot (RF) and FF running. We hypothesize RF running will result in greater amplitudes at higher frequencies whereas FF running will result in greater amplitudes at low frequencies.

METHODS: Seven natural RF runners and 7 natural FF runners performed 10 trials over ground with each footfall pattern. Running speed was restricted to ±5% of the subjects preferred speed. GRFs were collected at 1200Hz. vGRFs from the stance phase were zero padded to equal 2048 data points. An FFT was performed on each trial then normalized to 1 Hz bins. A mixed factor ANOVA with subjects nested within footfall pattern was performed to assess differences in amplitude at frequencies 1 - 50 Hz (α = 0.05).

RESULTS: RF running resulted in significantly greater amplitudes for frequencies 13 - 39 Hz (p<0.05; sum of amplitudes 13-39 Hz: RF = 462 N; FF = 166 N; percent difference = 94.7%). FF running resulted in significantly greater amplitudes for frequencies ranges 5 - 7 Hz (p<0.05; sum of amplitudes 5-7 Hz: RF = 436 N, FF = 542 N; percent difference = 21.7%).

CONCLUSIONS: The frequency content of the vGRF suggests RF running necessitates a greater reliance on passive mechanisms to attenuate impacts whereas FF running relies on active mechanisms. The results suggest there may be a difference in impact related injury mechanisms between running footfall patterns. The RF footfall pattern may contribute to bone related injuries whereas the FF footfall pattern may contribute to injuries such as muscle strain and tendonitis.
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Old 20th July 2011, 11:50 AM
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Default Re: Impact frequency data suggest unique risks for forefoot strikers

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Old 23rd July 2011, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: Impact frequency data suggest unique risks for forefoot strikers

That kinda make sense.

Heel strike --> greater impact loads at the heel
Forefoot strike --> greater loads on achilles and greater forefoot dorsiflexion moments of the forefoot on the rearfoot

Six of one, half a dozen of the other.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 11:55 PM
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Default Re: Impact frequency data suggest unique risks for forefoot strikers

RF running = high frequencies; FF running = low frequencies = zones of optimal leg stiffness = tune the surface to the running style.

Think guitar strings.
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Old 19th August 2011, 10:21 PM
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Default Re: Impact frequency data suggest unique risks for forefoot strikers

Here is another related report from LER:
Foot strike patterns do not predict impact loading rates while running
Quote:
Just because a runner’s foot strike pattern changes as a result of switching from shod to barefoot running doesn’t necessarily mean that runner will experience lower impact loading rates
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“Claims regarding the relative merits of one foot strike pattern versus another should be interpreted with caution, because it’s really dependent on the individual,” Becker said.
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Old 12th December 2012, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: Impact frequency data suggest unique risks for forefoot strikers

That's quiet interesting. Even though the passive mechanisms undergo greater stress during FF strike, is this level of stress actually injurious? Surely the stress threshold between bone and soft tissue varies under differing loads? Perhaps consideration also needs to be given to the manner in which soft tissue behaves during different strike patterns and whether or not that influences stress threshold i.e. concentric vs eccentric contraction
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