INTRODUCTION: Atypical rearfoot eversion is an important kinematic risk factor in running-related injuries. Prominent interventions for atypical rearfoot eversion include foot orthoses, footwear, and taping, yet a running gait retraining is lacking. Therefore, the aim was to investigate the effects of changing mediolateral center of pressure (COP) on rearfoot eversion, subtalar pronation, medial longitudinal arch angle (MLAA), hip kinematics and vertical ground reaction force (vGRF).
METHODS: Fifteen healthy female runners underwent gait retraining under three conditions. Participants were instructed to run normally, on the lateral (COP lateral) and medial (COP medial) side of the foot. Foot progression angle (FPA) was controlled using real-time visual feedback. 3D measurements of rearfoot eversion, subtalar pronation, MLAA, FPA, hip kinematics, vGRF and COP were analyzed. A repeated-measures ANOVA followed by pairwise comparisons was used to analyze changes in outcome between three conditions. Data were also analyzed using statistic parameter mapping.
RESULTS: Running on the lateral side of the foot compared to normal running and running on the medial side of the foot reduced peak rearfoot eversion (mean difference (MD) with normal 3.3°, p < 0.001, MD with COP medial 6°, p < 0.001), peak pronation (MD with normal 5°, p < 0.001, MD with COP medial 9.6°, p=<0.001), peak MLAA (MD with normal 2.3°, p < 0.001, MD with COP medial 4.1°, p < 0.001), peak hip internal rotation (MD with normal 1.8°, p < 0.001), and peak hip adduction (MD with normal running 1°, p = 0.011). Running on the medial side of the foot significantly increased peak rearfoot eversion, pronation and MLAA compared to normal running.
SIGNIFICANCE: This study demonstrated that COP translation along the mediolateral foot axis significantly influences rearfoot eversion, MLAA, and subtalar pronation during running. Running with either more lateral or medial COP reduced or increased peak rearfoot eversion, peak subtalar pronation, and peak MLAA, respectively, compared to normal running. These results might use as a basis to help clinicians and researchers prescribe running gait retraining by changing mediolateral COP for runners with atypical rearfoot eversion or MLAA.