The biomechanics of lower extremity action in distance running

Foot Ankle. 1987 Feb;7(4):197-217. doi: 10.1177/107110078700700402.


The role of quantitative biomechanical measurements in the evaluation of the running patient is discussed. Many techniques are now available to provide insight into the external mechanics of lower extremity action during running, and results from such measurements are presented for symptom-free subjects at distance running speeds. Details of stride length, stride time, and foot placement are first presented followed by a discussion of kinematic data, including stick figures, angle-time graphs, and angle-angle diagrams for the sagittal plane motion of the hip, knee, and ankle joints. The measurement of rearfoot motion, as an approximation of coronal plane subtalar joint movements, is also discussed. Results from acceleration, force, and pressure measurements are considered, and the assertion is made that bilateral asymmetry in many of these measures is a fairly common finding. There are, at present, few reports in the literature of the application of biomechanical techniques to the evaluation of patients with running injuries. It is anticipated that there will be rapid developments in this area in the future and that this will provide considerable insight into the etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of running injuries.

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration
  • Ankle Joint / physiology
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Foot / physiology
  • Gait
  • Hip Joint / physiology
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiology
  • Leg / physiology*
  • Movement
  • Posture
  • Pressure
  • Running*