Jamaica’s Usain Bolt Misses a world record in the 200m final. Here’s why.

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt Misses a world record in the 200m final. Here’s why.

Usain Bolt has said he was expecting a world record in the 200m final, but he said he had to temper his effort because he felt a pain in his back when he came around the curve. (read more here)

If you look at this race, and his condition before he ran the race, I am not surprised since Bolt, whose size and talent pummels other runners in these short races, had some mechanical issues he was not aware of. He thought it had to do with conditioning. I beg to differ and here’s why.

Here is the NBC feed from the race on August 9th.

If you look at Bolt, prior to starting, when looking carefully, you will notice his right shoulder pulls forward slightly. This is a typical compensation to someone whose foot flares out on that same side, which is an inherited trait. The significance of this is that it will lower his right hip somewhat and the myofascia in his core or mid section will also tighten. The result is over and under striding. You can see it from the above view because he over strides on the left and under strides on the right. This is going to torque his core, and strain the sacroiliac joints the harder he pushes forward. If you look at the slow motion upper body movement at the end of this clip, you will notice he rotates farther right in the upper body than his left. This is a compensation to the lower body left side over stride and which placed torque through the thoraco lumbar junction. Again, this will cause back pain, upper back tightness and it can be overcome by some mechanical tweaks.

Since he is brutally powerful and is a tall guy with a long stride, he can push just so hard except this asymmetry will cause back pain as the power he exerts strains his lower back from the two sides working differently. This concept of tortipelvis is described in the book Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain and will be geared toward runners in the current book being written.

Contrast this with Allyson, Felix, the petite American powerhouse who won the 200 meter gold and had near perfect form and symmetry, the closer we can get Bolt’s form to her’s, the faster he can run, the more symmetrical he can run and the less likely he would get pain while trying to run faster. Check out a similar type of evaluation on Allyson here

Suggestions for Usain Bolt

1. A small foot orthotic such as the black superfeet would help with the under and over stride and will fit in his racing shoes nicely. Symmetry is king.

2. Fascial release to his core and legs to take the accommodative tightening of his core. Fascia molds according to the forces placed upon it, however, it does not necessarily mold back without some help from a knowledgeable provider.

3. A good chiropractic manipulation in conjunction with the other management may help.

4. Bolts shoulders were too tight, and to see what I mean, contrast this with Allyson, if his core opened up, just imaging the time he would have taken.

What do you think? As always, I value your opinion. Learn more through our blog Diary of a NJ chiropractor. Read Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain available through Amazon.com