New Program Helps Runners Avoid Injuries During Summer Training Season

Runners looking for a way to get a leg up on the competition in their next race are in luck. Campbell Clinic, in partnership with dorsaVi USA, is offering a running assessment program that is the first of its kind in Memphis. The ViPerform Running Module uses wireless movement sensors to provide cutting-edge gait analysis. This enables runners and running coaches to identify functional movement deficiencies that might prevent a runner from reaching his or her maximum potential on race day.

The program evaluates several key running metrics such as Ground Reaction Force (GRF), Absolute Symmetry Index (ASI), running load, peak acceleration, average ground contact time, average speed, cadence, and total distance.

Runners often come to the clinic with common injuries such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, and shin splints. Some of these injuries result from movement deficiencies and, with proper evaluation and conditioning, may be avoidable.

GRF, for instance, measures the average vertical force applied to the ground during the mid-stance phase of the gait cycle. Vertical force increases as running speed increases. Research shows that consistently high values of peak ground reaction force are consistent with increased vertical displacement, which reduces running economy and makes a runner less efficient. A less efficient runner takes longer to finish and increases his or her exposure to potential injuries.

ASI measures the asymmetry of factors such as ground force between the left and right legs. One leg bearing more load than the other on a consistent basis is representative of a movement deficiency that can also lead to lower performance levels and potential injury. Overcompensation and guarding after an injury, strength issues the athlete is unaware of, or a natural gait irregularity might cause a runner loading less on one side versus the other.

Ultimately, the point is to train athletes to become more efficient in the acceleration, mid-stance, and landing phases to help them become more complete runners and avoid injuries that could sideline them for good. Evaluating them run using telemetric equipment gives a clear picture of movement problems that might be impossible to identify using a simple visual evaluation.

Completing the running assessment is simple and easy. Campbell Clinic offers a few different running protocols tailored to a specific athlete as well as his or her goals and typical distance. dorsaVi is built to help take the performance of sprinters, beginners, and accomplished marathoners to the next level.

Drew Graham is a Sports Performance Expert with Campbell Clinic. To schedule a running assessment, or to find out more about the Campbell Clinic Sports Performance Program, call 901.759.3180 or email dgraham@campbellclinic.com.

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