Saturday, February 16, 2013

New Kinesio Tapes (Kinesio Tex Gold FP)

new Kinesio FP Gold tape in white
In case you are wondering, the white Kinesio tape on my patient's knee is not a copy cat tape. Wait a minute you say, the original Kinesio Tex tapes only comes in beige, blue, red (pink) and black, not white. Well, this is the latest Kinesio FP (or fingerprint) Gold tape. It comes in all the above colours and also in white, the latest addition to the previous colours.

I first received my samples to test last December 2012 and here are my thoughts based on my patient's who's tried the new tapes.

The Kinesio Gold (FP) tape is much lighter and thinner and adhesive were noticeably improved and enhanced. Patients that previously were allergic or had skin sensitivity with Kinesio Tex (Classic) were able to use the new Kinesio Tex Gold (FP) without need to prepare the skin and/or for a longer period of time (up to 3 days) without similar issues of past tape application. Removal of tape is also easier. 

Best of all, all taping results were as good as before if not better.

Kinesio FP Gold on the left vs Classic
More specifics on the new tapes in another post later. Here's a look at the new tapes again.



Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Heel Striking Even While Running Barefoot



If you have been running barefoot or in minimalist/ barefoot type running shoes and still landing on your heels (meaning you have not quite mastered the technique yet), take heart. Here is some evidence published early this year to show that not all people who grew up barefoot will run landing mostly on a forefoot strike pattern. So if you've been wearing shoes your whole life, you're gonna really have to master the technique.

Prominent barefoot running researcher Daniel Liberman published a key article three years ago showing a high percentage of forefoot strike in Kenyan runners who have grown up not wearing shoes, leading to conclusions that humans had evolved to be forefoot/ midfoot runners and not rearfoot strike runners. (Have a look here.).

This recent paper analysed another group of non running habitually barefoot Daasanach Kenyans and concluded the exact opposite of Liberman's research paper. Their study showed that 72% this particular tribe of Kenyans landed on their rearfoot while running at a self selected, comfortable pace. While running faster, the  Kenyans (who are not known runners) in this study tend to land on their midfoot or forefoot. However at slower speeds (of 9:00 - 13:24 min per mile), 83% landed on their rear foot. At speeds fater than 5:21 min, rear foot landing was 43%.

Subjects in Hatela study


In contrast, Liberman's group of Kalenjin Kenyans (where many elite runners come from) were running at under 5:00 min/ mile pace, while his American subjects average 6:52 min pace. Liberman's Kenyan runners average almost 20 km of running a day while this study's subject's hardly even ran at all.

One similar finding to the Liberman study was that a forefoot strike reduces impact loading.

This study concluded that many other factors like training level, running surfaces, running distance and frequency can influence preferred running style. They added that running speed is important as from an evolutionary perspective, we need to know how fast the cavemen ran to get food. Did they ran relatively long and slow or did they have to sprint and chase their prey while hunting.

References

Hatela KG, Dingwall HL et al (2013).Variation in Foot Strike Patterns during Running among Habitually Barefoot Populations. PLoS ONE 8(1): e52548. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0052548

Liberman DE, Venkadesan M et al. (2010). Foot Strike Patterns and Collision Forces in Habitually Barefoot versus Shod Runners. Nature. 463:531-535.

*Picture from Flickr