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?
Young athletes have a significant risk of injury. A recent study questioned whether specific factors could be associated with increased levels of risk.
Presented at the
2013 American Academy
of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, Florida, the study featured 1,206 athletes aged 8–18. Participants completed a questionnaire that asked about sports specialization; stage of puberty; and height and weight. Researchers collected the same data on the athletes every 6 months for 3 years.
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?
Barefoot-style shoes are growing in popularity, with some users convinced they improve running economy and help prevent injury. A new study suggests that wearing Vibram® FiveFingers “toe” shoes may have other positive benefits.
When starting a running program, beginners always want to put their best foot forward. To avoid injury, many purchase a supportive shoe that minimizes excess movement in the foot. Researchers from Aarhus University in Aarhus, Denmark, suggest that this may not always be necessary.