MovLab Spring School 2017 – Biomechanics of locomotion and injuries prevention:





Joseph Hamill, PhD

*) Interactions of lower extremity function during running

During running, there are a series of actions that occur in the lower extremity.  These actions involve the coordination of hip, knee, ankle and the foot.  It was previously suggested that the segments should act synchronously but recent research has suggested that higher variability of the interactions of the lower extremity joints is optimum.  In order to appreciate running technique, running-related injuries and rehabilitation protocols, it is necessary to understand the coordination of lower extremity interactions.


*) Running Related Injuries

Injuries are generally categorized as either traumatic or overuse.  A traumatic injury is one in which there is a sudden onset with a severity that requires medical attention.  In running, while there are traumatic injuries, most running-related injuries are overuse injuries resulting from an accumulation of micro-trauma.  These types of injuries can be biomechanical or technique related in nature but most result from training errors (i.e. too quickly, too much, too soon).


*) Running Footwear and the Risk of Injury

The risk of a running-related injury is multi-factorial.  Running footwear design is considered to be one of these factors.  Over the last 30-40 years, running footwear have been concerned with the cushioning and stability aspects of the shoe.  Cushioning and stability have been associated with the risk of injury such that the design of the footwear incorporates structures to mitigate them.  However, research has not been able to completely determine how much does footwear contribute to the risk of injury or how much it reduces the risk of injury.


*) Footfall Patterns and Injury Risk

There are three footfall or footstrike patterns that human can utilize: 1) rearfoot (RF); 2) midfoot (MF); and 3) forefoot (FF).  The vast majority of runners use an RF pattern (80-90% of all runners).  The lay and some scientific literature has recently advocated for runners to change from an RF to an MF or FF pattern as a rehabilitation protocol for injury.  The reasons given to change range from reduction of the foot/ground impact to a reduction in the energy cost of running.  However, there are also a number of researchers who suggest that this may not be beneficial to runners.


Daniel Jandacka, PhD

*) Achilles tendon and running

The lecture will illustrate the evolution of the Achilles tendon in the human species (Homo) and its link with the running. Moreover, the function of the Achilles tendon during running and its most common injury will be introduced. The incidence of the Achilles tendon rupture will be discussed depending on the type of sport in different countries. Finally, the consequences of the Achilles tendon rupture and their influence on the running biomechanics will be presented.


Enrique Navarro, PhD & Javier Rueda, MSc

*) Biomechanical analysis of recreational runners

Understanding mechanical patterns and their relationship with injuries has been one of the most important topics in running biomechanics. A bad technique of running has been associated with the risk of injury. Nowadays, recreational runnier are demanding, more a more, a biomechanical analysis with different aims as: buying the appropriate sport shoes, to improve their performance or prevent injuries. The main objectives are 1) to present the methodology and procedures used in our Running Biomechanics Service and 2) to analyze the biomechanical patterns (kinematic, dynamic and EMG activity) obtained from all men and women recreational runners attending the service.


Carlos Rodrigues, MSc & Miguel Velhote Correia, PhD

*) Lower limb interactions and interfaces study on altered gait modes

As a result of injury or pathology, subjects frequently adopt altered gait modes such as stiff knee gait (SKG) at lower velocities or slow running (SR) for higher velocities, due to inability to perform NG or to protect physical integrity, although the kinematic and dynamic effects of adopting these alternative gait modes are not clear. The purpose of this study is to gain insight on kinematics and dynamics of a specific subject lower limb segments during NG, STG and SR by comparing selected parameters in order to point possible reasons to adopt alternative gait modes based on detected differences.


Tiago Atalaia, PhD & João Abrantes, PhD

*) Is lower limb preference accountable for injury risk?

Lower limb preference or dominance seems to be an important aspect of human performance. It importance in different settings of the sport environment is different, that changes this concept understanding as to be considered an advantage or an disadvantage. Literature report differences in the motor output between left and right footedness, from strength to technical and tactical advantages. But is it related to injury? In our lesson, we’ll see the ankle’s chronic instability case, and show the differences in joint stability by means of dynamic joint stiffness and other stiffness measures regarding normal subjects, and if any relationship is found with the subjects footedness as perceived by the Lateral Preference Inventory.


Pedro Aleixo, PhD & João Abrantes, PhD

*) Gait data in rheumatoid arthritis women

In this lesson it will be presented gait kinematic and dynamic data of rheumatoid arthritis postmenopausal women, focusing on the presentation of data comparing women with and without falls history. The effects of proprioceptive exercises on these gait biomechanical parameters will also be addressed.


João Martiniano, PhD & João Abrantes, PhD

*) Podiatry and biomechanical analysis in injury prevention

The analysis and study of plantar support and foot actions during walking can be very difficult, either due to the complexity of the foot anatomy or to the mechanical properties of the foot, either due to the presence of elements that affect dynamic joint stability. Adjustment of foot function may lead to changes in biomechanical properties throughout the lower limb kinematics chain. In a clinical setting it is only possible to make a qualitative evaluation of the gait analysis and a goniometric measurement of the passive joint amplitude. These data are unsatisfactory for inferences about the relationship between the articulation analyzed and the adjacent joints and, therefore, do not detect any changes in the characteristic parameters of the motor pattern associated with gait. This evaluation during the clinical exams is not sufficient for the complete diagnosis of the different pathologies that affect the locomotor system. For this reason, the specific biomechanical laboratory assessment is important to define deviations from the “normal” gait pattern and to prevent situations that may cause injuries to the lower limb.