Does changing running technique prevent injury?
🤔Chan's 2017 prospective study set about answering this exact question, what were the findings?
🔎 This study randomised 320 novice runners into gait retraining or a control group. The gait retraining group performed 2 weeks of real-time visual feedback on a treadmill, with the aim of running softer to reduce or eliminate the vertical impact peak (some conflicting studies showing this is related to injury). They were then monitored for 12 months afterwards for injury.
🔑They found that the total injury rate was 62% LOWER in the gait retraining group than the control group, with the retraining group suffering less PFP & plantar fasciopathy but MORE Achilles tendinopathy (16% of injuries) & calf strains (18%).
🔑So whilst the gait retraining group had a LOWER overall injury rate, this study highlights an important consideration for modifying running gait: Stress does not magically disappear, it is simply shifted from one region to another. In the case of the retaining group, using the cue to run softer resulted in less knee pain but more calf & Achilles issues.
👋Runners if you want to learn more about running technique, don’t hesitate to reach out to us
Chan, Z. Y. S., et al. (2017). "Gait retraining lowers injury risk in novice distance runners: a randomized controlled trial." American Journal of Sports Medicine.