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Lindsay Hunter, Quinette Abigail Louw and Sjan-Mari van Niekerk

Context:

Iliotibial-band syndrome (ITBS) is a common overuse running injury. There is inconclusive evidence to support current management strategies, and few advances have been made in the past few years. New management approaches should thus be developed and evaluated.

Objective:

To assess the effects of a real-time running-retraining program on lower-extremity biomechanics, pain while running, and function.

Design:

Single-subject experimental study.

Setting:

University motion-analysis laboratory.

Participant:

Female recreational runner with ITBS.

Intervention:

Nine real-time running-retraining sessions were implemented based on the biomechanical alterations of the participant's symptomatic lower limb, including pelvic and knee movement in the transverse plane, as well as foot movement in the frontal plane. Real-time visual feedback of the pelvic-rotation angle was provided during the running-retraining sessions.

Main Outcome Measurements:

3-dimensional lower-extremity running kinematics, pain on a verbal analog scale while running on a treadmill, and the Lower Extremity Functional Scale (LEFS).

Results:

Pelvic external rotation decreased, although the aim was to increase pelvic external rotation and knee rotation. The foot-progression angle improved after the intervention and at 1-mo follow-up. There was a 12.5% improvement in running time, and the pain score while running improved by 50% postintervention; these improvements were maintained at 1-mo follow-up. The mean LEFS score, indicative of function, improved by 8.75% and by 10% at the end of the intervention and at 1-mo follow-up, respectively.

Conclusion:

The real-time running-retraining program improved pain while running, as well as function, and was effective in addressing the lower-limb biomechanical alterations of the knee and foot in a female runner with ITBS. The application, effectiveness, and feasibility of real-time training should be addressed in larger studies in the future.