Prospective Comparison of Lower Extremity Kinematics and Kinetics Between
Injured and Non-Injured Collegiate Cross Country Runners

RI, Pamukoff DN, Lynn SK, Kersey RD, & Noffal GJ. Human Movement Science. 2017; 52:197-202. doi: 10.1016/j.humov.2017.0.007

Take Home Message: Cross country runners who developed a running-related
injury during a season had greater knee valgus and ankle eversion velocity before
the season started compared with runners who remained injury free. 

Running is generally considered to
have many positive benefits; however, runners are at greater risk for injury
due to the repetitive loads associated with running.  It remains unclear if a runner’s biomechanics
may predispose them to a running-related injury. Hence, the researchers in this
specific prospective study followed collegiate cross country runners with a
goal to identify factors related to a new running-related injury.  The researchers followed 32 cross county
athletes on the same team, who would have similar training practices and loads,
over a 14-week cross country season.  At
the start of the season, all athletes had no running-related injuries within
the previous 6 months.  The researchers
assessed each athlete’s navicular drop and then their running gait with a motion
analysis system. A certified athletic trainer documented any running-related injuries
that caused an athlete to miss at least one full practice session.  Twelve (39%) athletes suffered an injury over
the course of the season.  The
researchers reported that runners who suffered an injury had greater knee
adduction moment and ankle eversion velocity than runners who remained injury

The findings of this study are
interesting because they potentially identify 2 variables that contribute to
running-related injury risk.  This is one
of the first studies to prospectively follow runners with similar training
patterns. This allowed the authors to control for many factors that could cause
false findings.  These findings are
interesting and support other previous research that shows that knee adduction
moment or knee valgus is linked with injury risk.  Rehabilitation and preventative programs
could specifically target hip abduction musculature to try to limit the amount
of adduction that occurs during running to try to mitigate injury risk.  It would have been interesting if these
authors re-assessed running gaits during various time points in the
season.  Many athletes start to develop
soreness and pain, but might not report an injury to their athletic
trainer.  Compensatory patterns may start
to develop and could serve as an early identifier of impending injury, and an
opportunity for earlier intervention.  Also
– as fatigue sets in, there are variables that change.  Ultimately, there are were couple of
biomechanical attributes that were linked with increased running-related injury
risk.  While most clinicians cannot
perform a complex gait analysis, we can utilize this information to try to look
at eccentric hip and ankle muscular control and prescribe appropriate
preventative strengthening exercises.

for Discussion:  What do you use for
injury risk assessments in runners?  Are
there any other clinical evaluations that you commonly use for injury risk in

Nicole Cattano
by: Jeffrey Driban


Dudley RI, Pamukoff DN, Lynn SK, Kersey RD, & Noffal GJ (2017). A prospective comparison of lower extremity kinematics and kinetics between injured and non-injured collegiate cross country runners. Human Movement Science, 52, 197-202 PMID: 28237655