Title

Adaptations of lumbar biomechanics after four weeks of running training with minimalist footwear and technique guidance: Implications for running-related lower back pain

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Objectives: To investigate the changes in lumbar kinematic and paraspinal muscle activation before, during, and after a 4-week minimalist running training. Design: Prospective cohort study. Setting: University research laboratory. Participants: Seventeen habitually shod recreational runners who run 10-50 km per week. Main outcome measures: During stance phases of running, sagittal lumbar kinematics was recorded using an electrogoniometer, and activities of the lumbar paraspinal muscles were assessed by electromyography. Runners were asked to run at a prescribed speed (3.1 m/s) and a self-selected speed. Results: For the 3.1 m/s running speed, significant differences were found in the calculated mean lumbar posture (p = 0.001) during the stance phase, including a more extended lumbar posture after minimalist running training. A significant reduction in the contralateral lumbar paraspinal muscle activation was also observed (p = 0.039). For the preferred running speed, similar findings of a more extended lumbar posture (p = 0.002) and a reduction in contralateral lumbar paraspinal muscle activation (p = 0.047) were observed. Conclusion: A 4-week minimalist running training program produced significant changes in lumbar biomechanics during running. Specifically, runners adopted a more extended lumbar posture and reduced lumbar paraspinal muscle activation. These findings may have clinical implications for treating individuals with running-related lower back pain. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

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