Scientists have found that almost 80 percent of all runners will experience an overuse running injury in any given year. Most are reoccurring injuries that runners had previously. One explanation for the high injury rates and reoccurrences are poor running mechanics. Runners who land each footstep with more force are more likely to sustain an overuse running injury than runners who land each foot step more softly.
In this study, researchers used real-time feedback to retrain a group of 18 runners who landed hard to land more softly, or in other words, with less force at impact. The retraining sessions consisted of the subjects running on a treadmill with a computer screen in front of them. The information on the screen provided real-time feedback on how hard they were landing. After only eight retraining sessions, the runners demonstrated a change in mechanics to run more softly. Furthermore, the changes were still present at the one-year follow up. This simple intervention can provide a powerful method of reducing injury rates in runners.
For more information, view the abstract