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Original Article   

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2022 Mar 25

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.22.13445-6


language: English

Foot strike patterns and running-related injuries among high school runners: a retrospective study

Haruhiko GOTO 1, 2 , Suguru TORII 3

1 Graduate School of Sports Science, Waseda University, Tokorozawa, Japan; 2 Gifu pref. Sports Science Center, Gifu, Japan; 3 Faculty of Sport Sciences, Waseda University, Tokorozawa, Japan


BACKGROUND: There is a possible relationship between foot strike patterns and running-related injuries; however, this relationship among high school runners remains uninvestigated. Therefore, this retrospective cohort study examined this relationship among high school runners.
METHODS: Overall, 123 male Japanese high school runners participated in this study and completed a questionnaire regarding their characteristics, running habits, and running-related injury (RRI) histories. We filmed their habitual high-intensity training sessions from a lateral side. Participants’ foot strike patterns were visually classified, and they were divided into the non-rearfoot strike (forefoot strike and midfoot strike) and rearfoot strike groups. An independent sample t-test or Welch’s t-test was used to compare participant characteristics, running habits, the number of running-related injuries in the past 1 year, and the running speed at the filmed training sessions between both groups. A Chi-square test was used to examine the relationship between running-related injury histories and foot strike patterns in both groups.
RESULTS: The number of running-related injuries in the past 1 year was not significantly different between both groups; however, RRI incidence was significantly associated wit non-rearfoot strike (p<0.05). Furthermore, non-rearfoot strike was significantly associated with a history of achillodynia (p<0.05). Other running-related injuries, such as medial tibial pain, lateral knee pain, and heel pain, were not significantly associated with foot strike patterns.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study revealed that rearfoot strike runners did not have a higher risk of running-related injury compared to that of non-rearfoot strike runners, and that non-rearfoot strike was associated with achillodynia.

KEY WORDS: Running; Athletic injuries; Sports Medicine; Foot strike pattern; Forefoot strike; Midfoot strike; Rearfoot strike; Achillodynia

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