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Stafford Hockey Club • View topic - turn contributed to the rising
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Postby Labi1995 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:26 am
Cavanagh acknowledged the inherent limitations of the available data (for example, surveys vs. clinical data as well as injury terminology differences), but it was the best available data from that time period, and he made several interesting observations about how injury patterns changed from the early to late 1970s (a time when both running shoe design and runner demographics experienced dramatic changes). Cavanagh noted that within the span of ten years, Achilles tendon injuries, metatarsal stress fractures, ankle injuries, and heel bone injuries became less common, whereas knee injuries, shin splints (he combined shin splints and posterior tibial tendonitis percentages for 1979 since he felt that earlier surveys probably included both of these under the category “shin splints”), heel spur syndrome, and leg fractures (mostly tibial and fibular stress fractures) became considerably more common.Even though knee injuries were the most common injury in each of these studies, Cavanagh was particularly concerned about the rising incidence of knee injuries in 1979. What caused this spike? He speculated that “the combination of poor skeletal alignment and high mileage is going to play its part in knee injuries,” but also indicated that “we also have to examine the proposition, however unpalatable, that shoes, far from preventing injuries, have been partly responsible for them.” How might this happen? Cavanagh felt that lifting and adding cushioning material under the heel might have helped alleviate Achilles tendon and heel injuries, but that a potential side effect of adding a heel wedge was “inferior rearfoot control.” In other words, excessive pronation, the inward roll of the foot that occurs after ground contact, might have been the culprit that was increasingly damaging runner’s knees as the decade progressed, and it might have been caused by the added elements in shoes that were put there in part to protect runners from Achilles tendon and foot problemsIn addition to alterations in shoe construction and the shift in frequencies of injury types, the profile of the average runner changed significantly during this period. By the end of the 1970s, running had become far more of a mainstream pastime. Amby Burfoot, editor-at large for Runner’s World and winner of the 1968 Boston Marathon, says that the “1970 runner was leaner, meaner and faster than the 1980 runner… virtually all (1970) runners were those who continued (running) from high school, college, military service. They were more talented and more closely connected to recent high-level fitness.” In contrast, Burfoot points out that the average runner in 1980 was an individual “still in relative youth who picked up running after reading Jim Fixx’s book, and began training hard. They might have put in a lot of miles, but many were inherently not that talented as runners when compared to the average runner of 1970.” So the population of runners changed from mostly lifelong athletes to individuals who might have been joining the sport for the first time or who were returning to running later in life. Injury studies have shown that new runners are more likely to succumb to injury, so it’s quite possible that this demographic shift contributed to the changing nature of running injuries over the course of the decade; but to what extent is difficult to estimate with any degree of certainty.During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the development of running shoes went from being mostly an ad hoc, improvisational, affair to one that was heavily influenced by emerging footwear science and research. “Running shoes came out of the dark age,” wrote Cavanagh, and shoe design as it relates to injury prevention became a topic of intense study by biomechanical researchers. One of the main concerns during this period was how to control excessive movement of the rearfoot, or what we now commonly refer to as “pronation control.” The logic went like this: if the raised, cushioned heel of running shoes compromised rearfoot control, and this in turn contributed to the rising incidence of knee injuries, then something needed to be done to stabilize shoes and correct for this.
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