Influence of the Lower Jaw Position on the Running PatternReport as inadecuate

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The effects of manipulated dental occlusion on body posture has been investigated quite often and discussed controversially in the literature. Far less attention has been paid to the influence of dental occlusion position on human movement. If human movement was analysed, it was mostly while walking and not while running. This study was therefore designed to identify the effect of lower jaw positions on running behaviour according to different dental occlusion positions.


Twenty healthy young recreational runners mean age = 33.9±5.8 years participated in this study. Kinematic data were collected using an eight-camera Vicon motion capture system VICON Motion Systems, Oxford, UK. Subjects were consecutively prepared with four different dental occlusion conditions in random order and performed five running trials per test condition on a level walkway with their preferred running shoes. Vector based pattern recognition methods, in particular cluster analysis and support vector machines SVM were used for movement pattern identification.


Subjects exhibited unique movement patterns leading to 18 clusters for the 20 subjects. No overall classification of the splint condition could be observed. Within individual subjects different running patterns could be identified for the four splint conditions. The splint conditions lead to a more symmetrical running pattern than the control condition.


The influence of an occlusal splint on running pattern can be confirmed in this study. Wearing a splint increases the symmetry of the running pattern. A more symmetrical running pattern might help to reduce the risk of injuries or help in performance. The change of the movement pattern between the neutral condition and any of the three splint conditions was significant within subjects but not across subjects. Therefore the dental splint has a measureable influence on the running pattern of subjects, however subjects individuality has to be considered when choosing the optimal splint condition for a specific subject.

Author: Christian Maurer , Felix Stief, Alexander Jonas, Andrej Kovac, David Alexander Groneberg, Andrea Meurer, Daniela Ohlendorf



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