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Surface effects on in-shoe plantar pressure and tibial impact during running

PainSci » bibliography » Fu et al 2015
Tags: running, biomechanics, movement, exercise, self-treatment, treatment, etiology, pro

One article on PainSci cites Fu 2015: Is Running on Pavement Risky?

PainSci commentary on Fu 2015: ?This page is one of thousands in the bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided wherever possible.

This paper with surprising results is unusually well-written, with a good introduction reviewing the background. They measured two key impact variables in 13 male recreational runners (all heel-strikers) at 12 km/h velocity on concrete, synthetic track, natural grass, a normal treadmill, and a treadmill equipped with a cushioning. Plantar pressures were measured with an in-shoe pressure system, and tibial shock (peak positive acceleration) was measured with an accelerometer at the top of the shin.

Almost no differences were observed in these forces on any of the surfaces! This is contrary to what other experiments have found, and it’s possible that a difference would have emerged here at higher running speeds.

The authors conclude that “these findings indicated that different running surfaces do not necessarily affect the peak plantar impact and, by implication, impact-related injuries in runners.”

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

PURPOSE: This study aims to explore the effects of running on different surfaces on the characteristics of in-shoe plantar pressure and tibial acceleration.

METHODS: Thirteen male recreational runners were required to run at 12 km/h velocity on concrete, synthetic track, natural grass, a normal treadmill, and a treadmill equipped with an ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) cushioning underlay (treadmill_EVA), respectively. An in-shoe plantar pressure system and an accelerometer attached to the tibial tuberosity were used to record and analyze the characteristics of plantar pressure and tibial impact during running.

RESULTS: The results showed that there were no significant differences in the 1st and 2nd peak plantar pressures (time of occurrence), pressure–time integral, and peak pressure distribution for the concrete, synthetic, grass, and normal treadmill surfaces. No significant differences in peak positive acceleration were observed among the five tested surface conditions. Compared to the concrete surface, however, running on treadmill_EVA showed a significant decrease in the 1st peak plantar pressure and the pressure–time integral for the impact phase (p < 0.05). These can be further ascribed to a reduced peak pressure observed at heel region (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: There may not be an inevitable relationship between the surface and the lower-limb impact in runners. It is, however, still noteworthy that the effects of different treadmill surfaces should be considered in the interpretation of plantar pressure performance and translation of such results to overground running.

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