Relation between running injury and static lower limb alignment in recreational runners

Br J Sports Med. 2004 Oct;38(5):576-80. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2003.005488.


Objectives: To determine if measurements of static lower limb alignment are related to lower limb injury in recreational runners.

Methods: Static lower limb alignment was prospectively measured in 87 recreational runners. They were observed for the following six months for any running related musculoskeletal injuries of the lower limb. Injuries were defined according to six types: R1, R2, and R3 injuries caused a reduction in running mileage for one day, two to seven days, or more than seven days respectively; S1, S2, and S3 injuries caused stoppage of running for one day, two to seven days, or more than seven days respectively.

Results: At least one lower limb injury was suffered by 79% of the runners during the observation period. When the data for all runners were pooled, 95% confidence intervals calculated for the differences in the measurements of lower limb alignment between the injured and non-injured runners suggested that there were no differences. However, when only runners diagnosed with patellofemoral pain syndrome (n = 6) were compared with non-injured runners, differences were found in right ankle dorsiflexion (0.3 to 6.1), right knee genu varum (-0.9 to -0.3), and left forefoot varus (-0.5 to -0.4).

Conclusions: In recreational runners, there is no evidence that static biomechanical alignment measurements of the lower limbs are related to lower limb injury except patellofemoral pain syndrome. However, the effect of static lower limb alignment may be injury specific.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg Injuries / pathology*
  • Male
  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome / etiology
  • Posture / physiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Running / injuries*