New device can help prevent running injuries

November 10, 2014

Topic: plantar fasciitis, physical therapy

A new device that easily fits into a shoe could change running injury prevention methods forever.

A new device that easily fits into a shoe could change running injury prevention methods forever. The EI Institute of Biomechanics of Valencia and a Spanish shoe company known as KELME put their heads together to design a prototype running sneaker that contains a device that could help training management and prevent injuries. The findings were published in the journal Asociacion RUVID.

A simple fix
The device includes a microelectronic measuring system that can gather biomechanical information from runners and determine their technique during a race. The data is transferred from the device to any mobile phone via a mobile phone application. Runners can use the app to get real-time feedback on their performance and find out if a technique needs to be changed to prevent injury.

There are many types of injuries runners have to deal with, the publication Runner's World noted. Some of the most common injuries include shin splints, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis and runner's knee. All of these conditions are temporary if treated right away. Though each condition is different, identifying the technique that is causing the injury and undergoing physical therapy are both solutions for these injuries. However, ignoring these ailments could lead to more serious conditions that can affect a person's running. Using technology, such as this new device that draws attention to techniques that can possibly cause injuries, could be an ideal solution for runners.

Additional features
The app also has other features including a GPS locator and a heart monitor that many regular running devices have. At any time, runners can transfer the collected data to a web portal. This portal creates personalized training plans, track improvements in technique and suggest methods to help runners train without injuring themselves. The device also recommends warm-up and cool-down tips and nutrition guidelines as well. Runners can interact with each other using the portal and share tips and content too.

This device is different than others currently on the market for a few reasons. It is the first tool of its kind to track the biomechanics behind running and use a pulsometer to create a full set of personalized running tips.

The tool is part of a program called the RUNSAFER project, which is based out of Europe. Though the device is currently only a prototype, hopefully the technology will soon be used by runners from all over the world. 

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