Study protocol of a 52-week Prospective Running INjury study in Gothenburg (SPRING)

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  • Jonatan Jungmalm, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Stefan Grau, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Pia Desai, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Jon Karlsson, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Rasmus Østergaard Nielsen

Introduction: It is assumed that a running-related (overuse) injury occurs when a specific structure of the human body is exposed to a load that exceeds that structures' load capacity. Therefore, monitoring training load is an important key to understanding the development of a running-related injury. Additionally, other distribution, magnitude and capacity-related factors should be considered when aiming to understand the causal chain of injury development. This paper presents a study protocol for a prospective cohort study that aims to add comprehensive information on the aetiology of running-related injuries and present a new approach for investigating changes in training load with regard to running-related injuries.

Methods and analysis: This study focused on recreational runners, that is, runners exposed to a minimum weekly average of 15 km for at least 1 year. Participants will undergo baseline tests consisting of a clinical/anthropometrical examination and biomechanical measurements. Furthermore, participants will log all training sessions in a diary on a weekly basis for 1 year. The primary exposure variable is changes in training load. A medical practitioner will examine runners suffering from running-related pain and, if possible, make a clear diagnosis. Finally, additional time-varying exposure variables will be included in the main analysis, whereas the analysis for the secondary purpose is based on time-fixed baseline-related risk factors.

Ethics and dissemination: Ethical approval (DNR: 712-15) for the study and its design was obtained from the Gothenburg regional ethical review board. The results of the study will be published in peer-reviewed journals.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000394
JournalBMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2018

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