The Effect of Barefoot Running Using Two Running Styles on Lower Extremity Joint Reaction Forces

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School of Health Sciences

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Rogers, EP-C, Jamie M.
Barefoot; Running; Rearfoot; Forefoot; Strike Pattern; Internal Joint Reaction Forces; Forces; Kinetic; Imposed Foot Strike; barefoot; running; rearfoot; forefoot; strike pattern; internal joint reaction forces; forces; kinetic; imposed foot strike; Musculoskeletal System
article description
Running is a popular worldwide activity with many varying biomechanical techniques. Investigating potential differences in joint forces can be beneficial in determining if there is a superior biomechanical running pattern. Previous research compared barefoot and shod running, as well as the kinetic effects of varied running styles. The current study investigated the differences in internal joint reaction forces (JRF) at the hip, knee, and ankle joints during running with two different styles. Ten male and ten female participants who naturally run with a rearfoot strike pattern were included in this study. Each subject ran barefoot on an instrumented treadmill for two trials with a natural rearfoot strike and two trials with an induced forefoot strike. Peak JRF data were averaged from five strides during both conditions to determine the peak forces experienced at the ankle, knee, and hip in the X, Y, and Z planes. Statistical analyses of the results via paired samples t-tests revealed no statistical difference between rearfoot and forefoot running patterns. The results of this study suggest that there may be no superior foot strike pattern to reduce JRFs in the lower extremity. The conclusions from the current study supported findings from prior research. Additional research is recommended to gain more insight as to whether or not a superior running pattern does exist. If this is the case, runners could improve their biomechanical efficiency and potentially reduce the incidence of overuse injuries.