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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.
Effect of overground vs treadmill running on plantar pressure: Influence of fatigue
José A. García-Pérez, Pedro Pérez-Soriano, Salvador Llana, Alfonso Martínez-Nova, Daniel Sánchez-Zuriaga Gait & Posture; Article in Press
•We compare the effect of treadmill vs overground during running fatigue on plantar pressure.
•Running on a treadmill increases contact time compared to running overground.
•Running on a treadmill modifies pressure distribution and reduces peak pressures.
•Fatigue reduces stride frequency and modifies peak pressures (lateral heel and hallux) and relative load (medial arch).
•The surface effect occurs independently of the fatigue state.
The differences produced when running on a treadmill vs overground may call into question the use and validity of the treadmill as a piece of equipment commonly used in research, training, and rehabilitation.
The aim of the present study was to analyze under pre/post fatigue conditions the effect of treadmill vs overground on plantar pressures. Twenty-seven recreational runners (17 men and 10 women) ran on a treadmill and overground at two speeds: S1=3.33m/s and S2=4.00m/s, before and after a fatigue protocol consisting of a 30-min run at 85% of their individual maximal aerobic speed (MAS). Contact time (CT in seconds), peak pressure (PP in kPa), and relative load (RL in %) were analyzed under nine foot zones of the left foot using an in-shoe plantar pressure device.
A two-way repeated measures ANOVA showed that running on a treadmill increases CT (7.70% S1 and 9.91% S2), modifies the pressure distribution and reduces PP (25.98% S1 and 31.76% S2), especially under the heel, medial metatarsals, and hallux, compared to running overground. Moreover, on both surfaces, fatigue (S2) led to a reduced stride frequency (2.78%) and reduced PP on the lateral heel and hallux (15.96% and 16.35%, respectively), and (S1) increased relative load on the medial arch (9.53%). There was no significant interaction between the two factors analyzed (surface and fatigue). Therefore, the aforementioned surface effect, which occurs independently of the fatigue state, should be taken into account when interpreting the results of studies that use the treadmill in their experimental protocols, and when prescribing physical exercise on a treadmill.
Running shoes have recently been designed to mimic barefoot walking or running, and they are marketed with promises that runners will benefit from the effects of
barefoot running. Studying gait analysis with particular running shoes is extremely important because the ankle and foot serve as the foundation of structural balance,
support, and propulsion. In this study, the knee and hip joint motions will be addressed while wearing Vibram FiveFinger and Nike Free Run shoes, which are designed to
imitate barefoot running while providing protection from the elements. The purpose of this current study was to investigate the movement kinematics in the hip and knee joint while running on the treadmill at 0%, 4%, and 8% inclines in the barefoot condition as well as in Nike Free Run and Vibram FiveFinger shoes. Five experienced distance runners with a heel strike landing style in the traditional cushioned shoe were selected to participate in the study. During the testing each participant ran at 3.0 m/s on a slope of 0%, 4% and 8% in all three types of footwear. A two-way repeated measures ANOVA test was conducted at α = 0.05 followed by a t-test with a Bonferroni adjustment if a significant difference was found. The results of the study showed a significant difference in slope was observed between the 0% incline and the 8% incline during the heel strike phase in the hip joint and the mid support phase of the knee joint, and a significant difference in footwear was found between the barefoot and Nike shoe during the mid support phase of gait in the hip joint. Also during the mid support phase of gait, a significant difference was found between the barefoot and Nike shoe as well as the Vibram and Nike shoe in the knee joint. No significant differences were found when comparing shoe or slope in regards to angular velocity in both hip and knee joints. The findings of this study show that when looking at the phases of the gait cycle, the mid support phase of gait is the most crucial phase of gait. The toe off phase was found to be the least important phase of gait to be examined. Running slope is important because the slope can affect the running kinematics when the gradient is substantial (0% to 8%). It is critical that when developing new footwear that the mid support phase should be the most
important phase of gait to be examined, particularly in respect to the knee joint.
Treadmills are often used by runners when weather conditions are adverse or a specific training effect is desired. Athletes might respond to fatigue differently when running on a treadmill compared with overground conditions, where pace is typically more variable. The purpose of this study was to measure changes in gait parameters over the course of a 10 km treadmill run. Fifteen male competitive runners ran at a constant pace for 10 km at 103% of season's best time on an instrumented treadmill with in-dwelling force plates, and data were analyzed at five distances. Kinematic data were derived from high-speed videography and results compared between the early and late stages. Prior to halfway, step length increased and cadence decreased, while during the latter stages there were significant decreases in impulse and maximum force. Contact time decreased and flight time increased continually, but otherwise most gait variables did not change. The changes in contact and flight times suggested athletes altered their gait so that more time was spent airborne to allow the treadmill to pass under them. In general, however, the runners maintained their techniques throughout the run. Constant pace treadmill running might therefore be useful with the aim of running for a particular distance and speed with a consistent technique unaffected by factors such as gradient or fatigue. However, the increase in flight time might have aided the runners due to the nature of treadmill running, and athletes and coaches should note that this training effect is impractical during overground running.
Instrumented treadmills are increasingly used in gait research, although the imposed walking speed is suggested to affect gait performance. A feedback-controlled treadmill that allows subjects to walk at their preferred speed, i.e. functioning in a self-paced (SP) mode, might be an attractive alternative, but could disturb gait through accelerations of the belt. We compared SP with fixed speed (FS) treadmill walking, and also considered various feedback modes. Nineteen healthy subjects walked on a dual-belt instrumented treadmill. Spatio-temporal, kinematic and kinetic gait parameters were derived from both the average stride patterns and stride-to-stride variability. For 15 out of 70 parameters significant differences were found between SP and FS. These differences were smaller than 1cm, 1°, 0.2Nm and 0.2W/kg for respectively stride length and width, joint kinematics, moments and powers. Since this is well within the normal stride variability, these differences were not considered to be clinically relevant, indicating that SP walking is not notably affected by belt accelerations. The long-term components of walking speed variability increased during SP walking (43%, p<0.01), suggesting that SP allows for more natural stride variability. Differences between SP feedback modes were predominantly found in the timescales of walking speed variability, while the gait pattern was similar between modes. Overall, the lack of clinically significant differences in gait pattern suggests that SP walking is a suitable alternative to fixed speed treadmill walking in gait analysis.
•We compared self-paced (SP) with fixed speed treadmill walking.
•The gait pattern was similar for SP and fixed speed walking.
•The walking speed varied more during SP walking.
•The time scale of walking speed variability was dependent on the SP mode.