Asymmetry in Clinical and Running Gait Measures in Injured and Healthy Runners
Brar, Varneet Kaur
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Brar, Varneet Kaur
This study assessed kinematic asymmetry clinically and during running gait for both injured and healthy runners at the hip, knee, and ankle. This study consists of two parts: 1) a primary evaluation of correlations between extent of range of motion (ROM) asymmetry measured clinically and during running in a healthy population and 2) an assessment of differences between asymmetry in injured runners with Achilles tendinopathy (AT) and medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), and their matched controls. Asymmetry during running gait was collected while subjects ran continuous loops in the laboratory. A trained clinician assessed for measures of clinical asymmetry using a goniometer. The extent of asymmetry at each joint was quantified through the symmetry index (SI). A significant moderate correlation was noted in the internal hip rotations between clinical asymmetry and during running gait (r = 0.443; p = 0.01). While these results do show potential correlations between clinical and running joint kinematic asymmetries, further investigation is required to determine any causal conclusions as to whether or not modifications in static asymmetry may translate to better symmetry in running. No other significant correlations were noted. A significant difference between the SIs of injured runners and matched controls was detected in the ankle dorsiflexion (p=0.037) ROM of clinical assessment. During running gait, significant differences in SIs between groups were detected in the peak ankle dorsiflexion (p = 0.012) and dorsiflexion ROM (p = 0.004). These results indicate that lower extremity injuries, such as AT and MTSS, present with significantly increased amounts of asymmetry with ankle dorsiflexion and ROM during running. Clinically, similar differences are observed with the peak dorsiflexion with the knee extended. Given healthy runners were noted to have a correlation between the asymmetry present clinically and during running gait, these results may have relevant implications clinically.