Long-distance running continues to attract new enthusiasts throughout the world (Tonoli et al. 2010); its unique combination of benefits can help people to control their weight, improve cardiovascular function and fend off a host of chronic health problems (van Gent et al. 2007; van Middelkoop et al. 2008). But for all these advantages, running is hard on some parts of the body, often leading to lower-extremity injuries (van Middelkoop et al. 2008).
What Are Running Injuries, and How Prevalent Are They?
According to a report published in the Journal of Athletic Training (2012; 47 , 589–90), anterior cruciate ligament injuries lead to about 113,000 ambulatory-care visits and about 75,000 outpatient surgical reconstructions among active youth and adults in the United States each year. A recent study suggests a potential key to minimizing ACL injury danger among young-adult athletes: neuromuscular training.
Bergeron, M.F., et al. 2011. Consortium for Health and Military Performance and American College of Sports Medicine consensus paper on extreme conditioning programs in military personnel. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 10 (6), 383–89.
“Veterans are the light at the tip of the candle, illuminating the way for the whole nation. If veterans can achieve awareness, transformation, understanding and peace, they can share with the rest of society the realities of war. And they can teach us how to make peace with ourselves and each other, so we never have to use violence to resolve conflicts again.” —Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese monk and author (b. 1926)
Pilates practice may help people with ankylosing spondylitis to improve functional capacity, reports a study published in Rheumatology International (2012; 32 (7), 2093–99; doi: 10.1007/s00296-011-1932-9).
AS is a chronic, inflammatory disorder characterized by pain and stiffness of the back and the sacroiliac joints, but it can also affect peripheral joints like the shoulder, hip, knee and ankle. Over time, breathing becomes increasingly difficult, and affected joints eventually lose all mobility.
The Alexander Technique may be effective for chronic back pain and Parkinson’s-associated disability, according to a review in The International Journal of Clinical Practice (2012; 66 , 98–112; doi: 10.1111/j.1742-1241.2011.02817.x.
When it comes to running—both shod and barefoot—debate abounds as to which foot strike is best, with many favoring a forefoot strike (FFS) or midfoot strike (MFS) over a rear-foot strike (RFS) for efficiency and injury prevention. But is there really an optimal way to run?