Can Foot Strike Affect Running Injuries?

By Glenn G. Gabisan, MD, FACS


Many runners sustain an injury at one point or another in their training.  Research has suggested that sudden changes in training such as unforgiving surfaces, hill work, drastically different footwear and overtraining can all contribute to injury.

Recent theories are suggesting that foot strike can also affect injury rates.  Many runners strike the ground with their heel, but recent research has indicated that striking the ground with your forefoot may give you a lower incidence of injury.

Dr. Gabisan, Foot and Ankle specialist at Professional Orthopaedic Associates and a runner himself advises, “If you are not experiencing pain, there is really no need to alter form.  But, if you have had chronic heel pain, spurs or plantar fasciitis, a gradual alteration to your stride may be beneficial.”

Dr. Gabisan also says it’s important to update footwear regularly and, if overweight, to start with a walking program.  This program may progress to a “walk-jog-run” program.  If you have any questions about how you can avoid running injuries, please contact Dr. Gabisan at 732-530-4949.