n International SportMed Journal - Biomechanical analysis and treatment of a common running injury : clinical case study




The conservative management of common musculoskeletal running injuries is often successful. However, apart from the clinical response there has to date not been an objective method of determining the effect conservative management has on common musculoskeletal running injuries. The aim of this case study was to describe the role of gait analysis in the objective quantification of the effect of conservative management on the treatment of a common running injury. A runner diagnosed with medial tibial stress syndrome was treated at the Sports Medicine practice at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa, and gait analysis was undertaken in the Gait Analysis Laboratory of the University of Cape Town at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa. Gait analysis data were collected before and after the prescription of customized foot orthoses and a comprehensive conservative rehabilitation program for medial tibial stress syndrome. The running velocity (m/s), peak vertical impact force (N), knee and ankle eccentric load (J) were determined from each series of gait analysis data. The self-selected running velocity increased minimally from the first to second gait analysis tests. There was a reduction in the vertical impact and active force values from the first to second gait analysis tests. The knee and ankle eccentric load decreased with the use of foot orthoses and a trial of conservative treatment. The clinical response to non-operative treatment can be quantified with selected biomechanical variables. The impact and active vertical forces, and knee and ankle eccentric loads may give insight to the mechanisms by which orthoses may be successful in the management of common running injuries.


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