Modulating Pain When Running

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by: David Burnett, Registered Physiotherapist, BScH, MScPT 

Why is this important for runners?

Why is this important? Research shows that peak and cumulative braking forces (PBFs) on the legs during running can lead to overuse injuries such as shin splints and patellofemoral pain. Higher PBFs lead to more load on your lower body joints.

Coaching slight increases in running cadence ALONE can lead to reductions in PBFs, and hence reduce pain associated with these overuse injuries AND help to prevent them from developing in the first place.

This represents just one of many cues for modulating running-related pain. What cues have you found helpful to keep you in the roads and trails in the past?

1. Yong et. al. Acute changes in foot strike pattern and cadence affect running parameters associated with tibial stress fractures. Journal of biomechanics 2018.

2. Adams et al. Altering cadence or vertical oscillation during running: effects on running related injury factors. International journal of sports physical therapy 2018.

3. Braman et al. A 10% increase in step rate improves running kinematics and clinical outcomes in runners with patellofemoral pain at 4 weeks and 3 months. The American journal of sports medicine 2019.GRSM Kitchener Physiotherapist David Burnett shares some insight into his approach for modifying RUNNING CADENCE (steps / min).



David Burnett GRSM Kitchener-South Physiotherapist
David Burnett, BScH, MScPT
Registered Physiotherapist

David joined GRSM in July 2016. He graduated with his MScPT from Leeds Beckett University and BSc Biomedical Sciences from the University of Waterloo, while playing for the Warriors Men’s basketball team.

David has completed his level 3 FCAMPT training and is also certified in Integrative Dry Needling, which is used to release muscular restrictions throughout the body.

David enjoys working with high level athletes from all sports. In particular, he has extensive experience training and rehabilitating basketball athletes.

He also specializes in comprehensive gait analysis for both experienced and inexperienced runners. He has completed several courses including Tom Groom’s in depth Running Repairs.

David played semi-professional basketball in Nairobi, Kenya after University and previously worked as a Sport and Fitness Director in Sydney, Australia. In his free time, David enjoys keeping active outdoors, going to the gym, and playing any and all sports.

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