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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Understanding lower limb location-specific running-related pain by males and females Elashi, Maha Essam


Running-related injuries (RRIs) have been attributed to a number of factors, but there is no consensus in the current literature as to whether sex is a risk factor for RRIs, or if risk factors for running-related pain differ by sex. It has been suggested that due to differences in anatomy and biomechanics, males and females have their own RRI risk profiles; several variables may need to be taken into consideration when assessing sex as a risk factor for RRIs and running-related pain. Purpose: The proposed study represented the first two phases of a three-tiered epidemiological project. The purpose of Phase I was to determine whether there were significant differences in site-specific running-related injuries/pain between males and females training for a 10-km race; a statistical model was then created in the second phase to determine what explains running-related pain in the lower extremity by sex, for runners preparing for a 10-km race. Methods: 114 recreational runners (46 males [37.9 ± 9.8 years; 75.46 ± 9.55 kg; 1.75 ± 0.08 m] and 68 females [32.60 ± 8.70 years; 63.47 ± 9.96 kg; 1.66 ± 0.06 m]) took part in a prospective cohort design of a gradual 12-week training program, and a comprehensive baseline assessment was recorded for each participant. Weekly online surveys were administered to monitor whether subjects experienced an RRI. The Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) was administered to record pain scores at 11 relevant anatomical locations in the lower limb and the whole body, at baseline and during Weeks 4, 8, and 12 of the program. Foot and Ankle Disability Index (FADI) pain scores were also measured at these time points. Results: Sex was not a significant factor in the onset of location-specific, running-related pain in the VAS sites, but significant main effects of sex were found for the FADI. Males and females had different explanatory variables for each of the VAS and FADI sites. Conclusions: The causes of running-related pain in the individual anatomical regions varied by sex, which suggests that running-related pain may be decreased by addressing sex-specific risk factors.

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