Saturday, March 7, 2009

When Your Feet Hurt, You Hurt All Over

There is this old saying that says " when your feet hurt, you hurt all over". Worse still, sometimes your feet doesn't hurt but your knees, hips or lower back hurt because of your feet. Sometimes this may be because of your shoes. I've seen this many, many times in my patients.

Most of the shoes we wear encourage our intrinsic foot muscles to get lazy. Some of the intrinsic muscles in the foot basically switch off with all the protective support and cushioning from our fancy trainers. Any of you found your running shoe size getting bigger (despite not growing physically anymore)? There you have it, the intrinsic foot muscles weaken, which leads to your arch flattening slightly and you needing a slightly bigger shoe.

Of course shoes aren't necessarily a bad thing. They prevent your feet from being burnt by hot sand or pavements and not to mention broken glass as well. Where they go wrong is their design.

As you have read from the previous post, the thick heels from your high tech running shoes will encourage you to land with a heavier heel strike. Landing on your heels causes you to pronate (or roll your foot inwards) which then puts stress on your shins (leading to shin splints), knees, hips and your back. This "unnatural" heel strike is partly to blame for causing all sorts of running injuries. The evidence is now considerable and definitely stacking up in the article from the previous post.

Is landing our our heels unnatural you will definitely ask. Well, I'm going to say yes. Next time you happen to be in the company of little children look at how they walk or better still, see how they run. Parents who have kids and are reading this will tell you their little ones are always "falling forwards" as if they are tipping over slightly whether walking or running. And believe me they have a nice smooth style and they are fast. They also have no foot pain (or knee, hip and back pain for that matter) even though they love running around barefooted. Somehow as we grow older, we seem stand up taller and walk with our stride out longer and landing on our heels.

We've had patients who have been told never to run again but are able to run pain free and even take part in races after seeing us at Physio Solutions. How do we do it? We do it by teaching you how to run with good technique so you can run pain free. Come and join us at our running club (please see our website for details) or come see us in the clinic.

No comments:

Post a Comment