New Techniques Give Runners a Leg Up

Presented by Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers

Running is a great way to stay healthy, but too much running can lead to overuse injuries. A recent study by Harvard University shows that up to 74 percent of middle and long distance runners sustain injuries each year.

The Accelerated running team is comprised of experts who understand the biomechanics of running and are available to help runners who have sustained an injury and want to get back in the race. The team also works with runners who want to prevent an injury from occurring. They are certified to teach the best methods for increasing speed while remaining injury free.

Here are some new techniques and methods Accelerated physical therapists are using to help patients accomplish their goals:

The Pose Method. The Accelerated Pose Method-certified physical therapists enjoy working with runners who, after adopting this new technique, can experience greater efficiency while running — and fewer injuries.

Developed by three-time Olympic running coach Dr. Nicholas Romanov, the Pose Method uses gravity, key body poses and body weight to increase efficiency. It consists of three elements: “Pose – Fall – Pull” and uses gravity as the primary force for forward movement instead of muscular energy.

Guided by an Accelerated physical therapist certified in the Pose Method who uses video analysis of a patient’s gait and form, Pose Method runners learn how to adjust their body position and use gravity to conserve energy and increase speed. This is typically done in in an Accelerated clinic, but can also be taught outdoors. The Sproing® is often incorporated into the evaluation.

The Pose Method emphasizes a whole body pose, which vertically aligns shoulders, hips and ankles with the support leg, while standing on the ball of the foot. The runner then changes the pose from one leg to the other by falling forward and allowing gravity to do the work. The support foot is pulled from the ground with efficient use of the hamstring, while the other foot drops down freely, in a change of support. This creates forward movement, with the least amount of energy use and effort. This simple sequence of movements: the fall and the pull, while staying in the pose, is the essence of this technique.

In addition to increasing efficiency, the Pose Method can help reduce the incidence of some of the most common running injuries.

  1. Sproing is the first soft-platform training machine that absorbs impact as runners train. The machine offers the softness of an elliptical and the workout of a treadmill. Using bungee resistance instead of a moving platform, Sproing has two interchangeable platform surfaces — one filled with air for easier training and the other filled with special high-density foam for an intense beach-surface workout. These platform types allow for customized workouts consisting of cardio, strength and power movements.

Sproing is great for rehabbing an injury, endurance training or full-body workouts. Specifically, it is designed to:

–       Allow athletes to train at various speeds

–       Improve running form and cadence

–       Help prevent injuries with its low impact technology

–       Unload force on the lower body

–       Improves strength, balance and stability

–       Provide handrails and harness to help patients feel more comfortable

Alter G*. The Alter G Anti-Gravity Treadmill is great for runners with lower body injuries and patients with neurologic conditions alike because its gravity-altering mechanism customizes the force with which your feet strike the ground. It can help you:

–       Walk or run with no pain at a normal gait

–       Reduce stress on joints and injured areas of the lower body

–       Give you confidence and ability to walk or run longer – and recover faster with less pain

In addition, Accelerated running specialists offer training packages for runners of all levels whose goals may include: running faster, running longer and running without pain. The packages include a Runner’s Evaluation.

Runner’s Evaluation. This assessment tool helps identify mechanical deficits in runners of all ages and skills. It includes a full gait analysis by a licensed physical therapist trained to identify a runner’s flexibility, range of motion, muscular strength and running pattern. It can also detect whether the patient has injury-prone areas and/or gait deficits that can be corrected through individualized training and exercise programs.

Using state-of-the-art video analysis software, a physical therapist will videotape a patient running to identify his/her physical condition and movement dysfunction during activity. In addition, each runner receives a copy of his or her video analysis, making it easier to visualize mechanics and follow the physical therapist’s instructions.

The lessons include a combination of a musculoskeletal screen, multiple video analyses and varied drills and exercises that will address deficits found.

Learn more about Accelerated Rehab Centers