Running is one of the most common recreational and athletic activities in Boulder, CO. Despite improvements in shoes, training methods, and exercise programs participants in this sport continue to see high injury rates most commonly in the lower body. In our Boulder Physical Therapy practice we frequently treat these injuries to accelerate an individual’s recovery back to their pre injury running levels. In addition to manual therapy, dry needling, and strength training we also utilize gait retraining on the treadmill to identify biomechanical impairments which may have precipitated or perpetuated an individual’s current injury. A recent review of the research was published on the effectiveness of this intervention.
Authors published a systematic review on the available evidence including 19 trials of close to 700 runners who were treated with gait retraining (Doyle et al. JOSPT. 2022). Authors found moderate evidence indicating step rate gait retraining is able to reduce average vertical loading rates among runners. Most commonly, an increase in step rate, reduces stride length, and creates a mid foot landing pattern consistent with these lower loading rates. In addition, authors low certainty evidence on gait retraining’s impact on running performance. Finally, authors noted two trials which found reduced injury rates up to 1 year after undergoing running gait retraining.