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The objective of this study is to compare plantar loads during treadmill running and running on concrete and grass surfaces.
Crossover study design was used in the study.
A total of 16 experienced heel-to-toe runners participated in the study. Plantar loads data were collected using a Novel Pedar insole sensor system during running on the treadmill, concrete, and grass surfaces at 3.8m/s running speed and then analyzed.
Compared with running on the two other surfaces, treadmill running showed a lower magnitude of maximum plantar pressure and maximum plantar force for the total foot, maximum plantar pressure at two toe regions, and maximum plantar force for the medial forefoot region and two toe regions (p<0.0017). Treadmill running also showed a longer absolute contact time at two toe regions compared with running on the other two surfaces (p<0.0017).
Treadmill running is associated with a lower magnitude of maximum plantar pressure and a lower maximum plantar force at the plantar areas. These results suggest that the plantar load distribution in treadmill running is not the same as the plantar load distribution in running on overground surfaces. Treadmill running may be useful in early rehabilitation programs. Patients with injuries in their lower extremities may benefit from the reduction in plantar loads. However, the translation to overground running needs investigation.
One major drawback in measuring ground-reaction forces during running is that it is time
consuming to get representative ground-reaction force (GRF) values with a traditional force
platform. An instrumented force measuring treadmill can overcome the shortcomings
inherent to overground testing. The purpose of the current study was to determine the validity
of an instrumented force measuring treadmill for measuring vertical ground-reaction force
parameters during running.
Vertical ground-reaction forces of experienced runners (12 male, 12 female) were obtained
during overground and treadmill running at slow, preferred and fast self-selected running
speeds. For each runner, 7 mean vertical ground-reaction force parameters of the right leg
were calculated based on five successful overground steps and 30 seconds of treadmill
running data. Intraclass correlations (ICC(3,1)) and ratio limits of agreement (RLOA) were
used for further analysis.
Qualitatively, the overground and treadmill ground-reaction force curves for heelstrike
runners and non-heelstrike runners were very similar. Quantitatively, the time-related
parameters and active peak showed excellent agreement (ICCs between 0.76 and 0.95, RLOA
between 5.7% and 15.5%). Impact peak showed modest agreement (ICCs between 0.71 and
0.76, RLOA between 19.9% and 28.8%). The maximal and average loading-rate showed
modest to excellent ICCs (between 0.70 and 0.89), but RLOA were higher (between 34.3%
The results of this study demonstrated that the treadmill is a moderate to highly valid tool for
the assessment of vertical ground-reaction forces during running for runners who showed a
consistent landing strategy during overground and treadmill running. The high stride-to-stride
variance during both overground and treadmill running demonstrates the importance of
measuring sufficient steps for representative ground-reaction force values. Therefore, an
instrumented treadmill seems to be suitable for measuring representative vertical ground reaction.
What I have noticed about the difference between treadmill and overground running is that generally, unless the person is experienced in treadmill running, the treadmill causes shortening of the stride and a tendency toward flat foot or forefoot strike.
This would account for the reduced GRF noted in the 1st research abstract above.
Plus treadmills have more flexible, compliant landing surface than normal ground especially if the ground is concrete or tarmac, so resulting in force attenuation..
Regards Dave Smith
Descartes seems to consider here that beliefs formed by pure reasoning are less doubtful than those formed through perception.
Treadmill versus overground and barefoot versus shod comparisons of triceps surae fascicle behaviour in human walking and running
Neil J. Cronin, Taija Finni Gait & Posture; Article in Press
Studies of human locomotion are commonly performed on a treadmill or overground, as well as with or without footwear. These testing modalities have been suggested to influence kinematics, kinetics and/or spatio-temporal variables differently. However, it is unclear whether they influence contractile behaviour at the level of the muscle fascicles. This has major relevance because results from studies performed with different combinations of the testing modalities are often compared. The present study used ultrasound to examine fascicle behaviour of the medial gastrocnemius (MG) and soleus muscles of ten young, healthy males during walking and running on a treadmill and overground, as well as barefoot and shod. Barefoot conditions resulted in modestly shorter step durations than corresponding shod conditions, whereas no consistent temporal differences were observed between overground and treadmill locomotion. For both comparisons, no differences were observed in soleus or MG fascicle behaviour between corresponding conditions in walking or running, although soleus consistently exhibited smaller, lower velocity length changes than MG. It is concluded that the examined testing modalities are equally valid for studying muscle fascicle behaviour during locomotion. This conclusion is supported by a comparison of our data to the results of 16 previous studies that used various combinations of testing modalities; muscle fascicle behaviour is qualitatively similar between studies for a given muscle and gait.
► Triceps surae fascicle behaviour was examined in walking and running using ultrasound.
► Comparisons were made between treadmill – overground and barefoot – shod trials.
► No differences in fascicle behaviour were observed between testing modalities.
► Soleus consistently exhibited smaller, lower velocity length changes than MG.