New article published in JOSPT

Jesper Petersen, Henrik Sørensen and Rasmus Nielsen published a new biomechanical-oriented original article entitled: "The Cumulative Loads Increase in the Knee Joint at Slow-Speed Running Compared With Faster Running: A Biomechanical Study"


Study Design: Biomechanical cross-sectional study.

Objective: To investigate the hypothesis that the cumulative load in the knee at a given running distance is increased when running speed is decreased.

Background The knee joint load per stride is decreased when running speed is decreased. However, by decreasing running speed the number of strides per given distance is increased. Running at a slower speed may increase the cumulative load at the knee joint at a given distance compared with running the same distance at a higher speed, hence increasing the risk of running-related injuries in the knee.

Methods: Kinematic and ground reaction force data were collected from 16 recreational runners utilizing a rearfoot strike during steady-state running at 3 different speeds: 8.02 +/- 0.17 km/h, 11.79 +/- 0.21 km/h, and 15.78 +/- 0.22 km/h. Cumulative load (cumulative impulse) over a 1000 meter distance was calculated at the knee joint on the basis of a standard 3-dimensional inverse dynamics approach.

Results: Based on a 1000 meter running distance, the cumulative load at the knee was significantly higher at slow running speed than at high running speed (relative difference: 80%). The mean load per stride at the knee increased significantly across all biomechanical parameters, except impulse, following an increase in running speed.

Conclusion: Slow-speed running decreases knee joint loads per stride and increases the cumulative load at the knee joint for a given running distance compared to faster running. The primary reason for the increase in cumulative load at slower speeds is an increase in number of strides needed to cover the same distance.

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, Epub 1 Jan 2015. doi:10.2519/jospt.2015.5469