Evaluating the Coupling between Foot Pronation and Tibial Internal Rotation Continuously Using Vector Coding

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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  • 1 New Balance
  • | 2 University of Massachusetts
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Excessive pronation, because of its coupling with tibial internal rotation (TIR), has been implicated as a risk factor in the development of anterior knee pain (AKP). Traditionally, this coupling has been expressed as a ratio between the eversion range of motion and the TIR range of motion (Ev/TIR) that occurs during stance. Currently, this technique has not been used to evaluate specific injuries or the effects of sex. In addition, Ev/TIR is incapable of detecting coupling changes that occur throughout stance. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare the coupling between eversion and TIR in runners with (n = 19) and without AKP (n = 17) and across sex using the Ev/TIR ratio, and more continuously using vector coding. When using vector coding, significant coupling differences were noted in runners with AKP (34% to 38% stance), with runners with AKP showing relatively more TIR than eversion. Similarly significant differences were noted across sex (14%–25% and 36%–47% stance), with males transitioning from a loading to propulsive coordination pattern using a proximal to distal strategy, and female runners using a distal to proximal strategy. These differences were only detected when evaluating this coupling relationship using a continuous technique such as vector coding.

Pedro Rodrigues and Trampas TenBroek are with the Sports Research Laboratory, New Balance, Boston, MA, and the Biomechanics Laboratory, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. Ryan Chang and Joseph Hamill are also with the Biomechanics Laboratory, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. Richard van Emmerik is with the Motor Control Laboratory, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA.

Address author correspondence to Pedro Rodrigues at pedro.rodrigues.a@gmail.com.