Run healthy, run strong
April 21, 2014
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Every day Soldiers from the 17th Field Artillery Brigade form up to conduct physical training. Most Soldiers run with their units three to four times a week. But what exactly is all that running doing to their bodies?
"The top three diagnosis, here at the clinic, are back pain, patellofemoral pain, and sprained ankles ," said Capt. Shane McDonald, Department of Physical Therapy, Soldier Clinic Medical Hospital, 17th Field Artillery Brigade.
The clinic held a one-day running clinic for leaders and Soldiers from across the Thunderbolt Brigade. The intent is to educate Soldiers on the different running forms that exist and how to improve them in order to prevent injury.
"When our foot hits the ground we get shock absorption, in the feet and the knees," said McDonald. "That is 2.3 times our body weight while running at 75-79 strikes per foot, per minute."
The significance of the running clinic does not end at the factual information that McDonald delivered to approximately 18 Soldiers. Providing this training for the leaders is critical in allowing them to recognize the dangers in not being aware of running form and strengthening techniques.
"This gives the junior officers and leaders an opportunity to understand the dynamics of running and why Soldiers get injured and what, as leaders, we can do to prevent this," said 2nd Lt. Alex Torres, 657th Forward Support Company, 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment. "It gives the junior leaders the assets to assess individual Soldiers on how they run and how to further prevent injury," said Torres.
When it comes to shoes, many Soldiers wonder what the best type of shoe is to prevent injuries. McDonald gave a brief but thorough description of the different running shoes available today. Unfortunately, there is no secret style of shoe that may prevent injury more than another.
Reality is that the perfect shoe does not exist. "Shoes are different for everyone and there are a lot of factors that influence active shock absorption from foot strike to muscle strength to trunk flexion," said McDonald.
Running may be an art for some, a science for others. What the running clinic has done is given Soldiers the awareness of the conditioning that the body needs to prevent injuries and continue to run healthy and strong.
For more information on future running clinics or to see the physical therapist, please contact the Madigan Army Medical Center Physical Therapy at 253-968-0780.