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Category: Running & Exercise
Is your child complaining of knee pain or foot problems?
Is your child complaining of knee pain or foot problems?

As parents, we all want the best for our children. Nothing is more concerning than our children in pain. Children’s feet differ from those of adults, as they are still growing. As a parent, it’s easy to think your child is experiencing growing pains and overlook this, however, it could also be an overuse injury. If your child is suffering from any lower leg symptoms, exhibits an awkward gait or walk, has flat feet, uneven shoe wear, poor posture and stability or complaining of pain then you should schedule a consultation with one of our Podiatrists. Overuse injuries can affect the muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones and growth plates. In children these structures are vulnerable as they are still growing. Want to learn more about overuse injuries? Contact us today.   Common Overuse Injuries in Children The three most common overuse injuries causing foot, knee and leg pain in Children are: Severs Disease (affecting the heel bone) Osgood-Schlatter’s Disease (affecting the knee) Growing pains   What Is Severs Disease? Severs disease (now more correctly termed calcaneal apophysitis) is not an actual disease but the irritation of the growth plate in the heel bone in children. The growth plate is a layer of cartilage near the end of a bone where the bone grows in length. It is weaker and more at risk for injury than the rest of the bone. Severs Disease often occurs during a growth spurt, when the bones, muscles, and tendons grow at different rates. Not all children will get heel pain, however, those that do will eventually grow out of the condition when the growth slows down. Our Podiatrists will offer the best treatment solutions aimed at reducing pain, improving stability, strength and flexibility – keeping your child on the sporting field. What is Osgood-Schlatters Disease? Osgood-Schlatter disease (again not an actual disease) is the irritation of the growth plate at the top of the shinbone. OSD typically causes pain and swelling below the kneecap. The pain usually gets worse with running, jumping, going up stairs, and walking up hills. It is one of the most common musculoskeletal problems seen in adolescents. It is most common in 10-15-year-olds but can be also seen outside of these ages, especially if a child has an early or late growth spurt. It is usually associated with high levels of physical activity, especially high-impact sports such as basketball or football. Want to learn more about common injuries leading to knee pain and foot pain in children? What are Growing Pains? Growing pains are often described as an ache or throb in the legs — often in the front of the thighs, the calves or hamstrings. The pain is in the muscles not the joints. Growing pains tend to affect both legs and occur at night, which may even wake a child from sleep. Growing pains usually coincide with increased activity. Does your child suffer from growing pains? Learn more about growing pains and how they can be effectively managed whilst your child is still growing!   Common signs of an Overuse Injury in children It is important to be aware of the more common signs of an overuse injury. These include: Pain – Especially pain that cannot be associated to an injury, such as from a fall or a contact in a sport. This pain often increases with activity. Painful limp or protective walk Decreased interest in activity or sport   Treatments for Lower limb Overuse Injuries in Children and Adolescents Activity modification may be necessary (reduced intensity or reduced training days) Adequate water and food intake and sleep Improve footwear Address lower limb biomechanics if contributing factor – if your child has poor foot posture, tight muscles or joint hypermobility they may be more prone to getting overuse injuries. Want to learn more about our varied treatment options for children’s foot pain and lower leg pain?   When Should I Bring My Child to see a Podiatrist? Podiatrists play an important role in addressing concerns with children’s feet and lower limbs, their walking and running patterns and gross motor development. Children’s feet and legs are more malleable to change when they are younger, often making treatments more effective at a younger age. If required, early Podiatry treatment can improve children’s strength and coordination and reduce the likelihood of foot and lower limb problems occurring in adulthood. Many children’s foot and leg issues can be simply addressed when caught early on. With the right treatment, this ensures that your child is moving well, and that they are healthy and happy in the long term.   Does your child suffer from knee pain or feet problems? Make an appointment with Foundation Podiatry today, so they can get back to everything they enjoy – pain free!

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Running Related Injuries
Running Related Injuries

Image A is an injured runner displaying contralateral pelvic drop – that is, the hip/pelvis on the non-weight bearing limb drops lower than the weight bearing limb during the stance phase which results in an inward position of the knee and subsequent increase in foot pronation (rolling inwards).  This position has been linked to developing pain at the front (patellofemoral pain) and at the side (ITB friction syndrome) of the knee, shin splints and achilles tendon pain.  Image B is a healthy runner who is not displaying contralateral pelvic drop.

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Running Economy
Running Economy

Runners with good running economy use less energy and therefore less oxygen. Townsville Podiatrist and Running Coach Chris Weber shares some tips below on how to improve your running economy - however it is important to note that when attempting to modify your running technique there will be an initial increase in the amount of energy consumed (reduced running economy).  Therefore, the more you practice the technique modification, the more efficient you will become. Reduce your ground contact time.  This is the amount of time your foot is in contact with the ground.  Some strategies to reduce ground contact time include: Taking quieter steps – a quiet foot strike typically spends less time in contact with the ground than a loud foot strike (and there’s much less stress through the lower limb too) Take quicker steps – the more steps you take per minute (cadence) the less time your foot spends in contact with the ground. As cadence increases, ground contact time usually decreases

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Barefoot. Is it good or is it bad? Townsville Podiatrist Hayley explains...
Barefoot. Is it good or is it bad? Townsville Podiatrist Hayley explains...

Barefoot gets both a good and a bad rap. Here is Hayley's take on the topic.

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Strength training for runners - is it beneficial? Townsville Podiatrist Chris Weber explains...
Strength training for runners - is it beneficial? Townsville Podiatrist Chris Weber explains...

As a running coach and Townsville Podiatrist, one of the common questions I get asked is whether strength training is beneficial for running.  The short answer is yes. Strength training can be beneficial for runners.  However, understanding which exercises are the “right” exercises, when to do them, how to do them and how to incorporate them into your running program without causing detrimental effects can be tricky.   Here are 2 basic tips that I give most of my beginner runners or runners who are looking to introduce strength training to their running: Global Leg Strength - Having good global leg strength allows our muscles to absorb more shock and therefore reduce the loads in our tendons, bones, ligaments and joints – which are the things that tend to get injured most! Having good global strength means that we have good strength in our large muscle groups in the legs – glutes, thighs (hamstrings and quadriceps) and calves.  Any basic gym program will incorporate exercises that strengthen these groups – think leg extension, leg press, hammy curl, squats, lunges, calf raises. Do more single leg exercises - as this will benefit you far more when it comes to running. Already have a gym program? Just convert the current exercises you are doing to single leg ones - eg. squats to split squats or step ups. Check out Chris' video which explains this further!

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Townsville Podiatrist Chris – ‘Why I like to Run’
Townsville Podiatrist Chris – ‘Why I like to Run’

Meet Chris Weber, Biomechanical Podiatrist, running coach & avid runner here at Foundation Podiatry Firstly, I never used to like running.  Running used to be the necessary incidental activity that I had to work on to help me with the sports that I played – but I never really enjoyed it. Running was hard work; running is hard work.  Every run felt like a battle of demons inside my head where my self-talk included statements like: “I’m not very good at running, I’m not a real runner, I wonder how far I’ll get today before I have to stop, I hope today’s run feels good, I’m not going to stop and walk, Maybe I’ll just walk a little bit, I’m only going to walk this once, or twice"…… It’s no wonder many of my runs were unpleasant. My self-belief and how I viewed myself as a runner all played a significant role in how I performed.   And I performed poorly – I rarely enjoyed my runs and I always felt like I couldn’t breathe, my legs always felt heavy and I was slow…….so so slow.  And, on top of that, I would get so sore after every run – sore thighs, hips and sore calves.  Of course, when you feel so bad about your running, it’s difficult to remain consistent and to keep it up on a regular basis. So, what changed for me?   I acknowledged that running is hard!  It’s hard on your body and it takes time for your body and mind to adapt to the demands of the activity.  I acknowledged that walking is “okay” and often necessary to help to build the capacity in your body to deal with the demands of running.  I spent some time working on some very simple changes to my running technique.  I specifically focused on increasing my cadence (number of steps per minute), taking smaller steps as I ran and attempting to run with quiet feet.  These three things are connected to each other and all play a role in decreasing the amount of physical stress being placed on my body.  I also slowed down my pace and added some structured run : walk ratio to my runs (e.g. run for 4 minutes and walk for 1 minute and repeating several cycles of this), I was running too fast (even for a slow runner) and therefore running out of steam which meant that nearly every run felt hard.  Because running is such a repetitive and high impact activity, even the smallest changes (for better or worse) can make a massive difference to how you feel when you run.  By changing some small things, I gradually started to feel much better on my runs, I started enjoying them, I felt much lighter on my feet and legs, my breathing became a little easier and I was no longer having the post-run soreness that use to stay with me for days.  There were a few other things that I did too.  I started to appreciate just how much of a privilege it is to be able to run, to be able to walk out the door, breathe in some fresh air, take some time for me and know that I was doing something that improved my physical and mental health.  I started running in places with a nice view, I changed the location of most runs trying to run in a different place for each run during the week, which really helps with reducing some of the boredom that can come with running. Changing how you run and changing how you think about running takes lots and lots of practice and patience.  Running reminds me that I am capable of things I never thought were possible; that pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone brings both massive reward and heart ache, both of which make you stronger. I now have the privilege of sharing my love of running as a coach and as a Podiatrist at Foundation Podiatry Townsville.  Helping other people to start running and learn how to enjoy running is what inspires me to keep working at my own running goals. Chris. If you are looking to improve your running technique, performance, or even begin running – Take the time to come and see Chris at Foundation Podiatry and learn how making the smallest changes can improve your foot health, running performance and running enjoyment.  

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'Start low & go slow’ – How to begin an exercise regime from scratch
'Start low & go slow’ – How to begin an exercise regime from scratch

The New Year is a great time to focus on becoming fit and healthy. Nobody will dispute that exercise (movement) is good for us. Due to our more sedentary occupations and lifestyles – even the act of getting up off the ground, climbing a ladder or cleaning out a bottom drawer may be a monstrous task. So think of the benefit of exercise (movement) as improving our ability to do daily tasks and sprucing overall health and well-being – not just minimising those tuck-shop arms and muffin tops! "As a Biomechanical Podiatrist I treat many patients who - due to yucky foot and lower limb pain - have become very inactive for a very long time. Once we have worked together to manage or resolve their pain, they have more energy, a positive head-space and are now ready to embark on some regular exercise". So here’s some advice I will often give to my patients: Have a goal in mind Do you want to enter the Townsville 5km, walk around the block without getting winded, or finish a 100-rep circuit without vomiting??? Have a goal that is clear, realistic and concise. Start Low & Go Slow If you have not exercised for quite some time, do not expect to race up Castle Hill on your very first go, even if you used to do it in a breeze. When people commit to starting an exercise program they are often so pumped and excited that they do ‘too much too soon’. If walking is your exercise, start with a short walk (20 mins) and increase the time by 10-15% each week. Rest days are good! To begin with I would recommend having a rest day every 2nd day. This is particularly so if coming back from injury. Rest days allow your body to recover and repair. After 2 weeks of exercise you may reduce your rest day to 2 on, 1 off. After 2 more weeks of exercise you may only need 1 rest day per week.  Alternate your training Mix it up - keep your body guessing! Where possible you may consider aqua aerobics, yoga or tai chi,  weight training etc. Alternating your training styles means you are using different muscle groups, different energy systems, different loading patterns. This greatly reduces your risk of over-use injury, achieves greater results and keeps things interesting! When commencing an exercise program (whether that be following an injury, or starting from scratch for the first time) being SENSIBLE is the key. In Townsville we are very fortunate to have an abundance of gyms, amazing yoga teachers, water aerobics classes galore, great environment for outdoor sessions, zumba classes and the list goes on. Find something you enjoy and give it a go this New Year! Remember…..  ACTIVE FEET > ACTIVE BODY > ACTIVE LIFE   By Hayley Paterson | Biomechanical Podiatrist Townsville

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FOOT PAIN hindering your New Year's Fitness Resolution?
FOOT PAIN hindering your New Year's Fitness Resolution?

Most people try to kick off the New Year with a healthy, positive goal in mind. Whether that be regularly walking Castle Hill or training for a half marathon, it’s important to have a plan in place. Unfortunately for many people embarking on a new exercise regime… PAIN often follows! Foot pain, shin pain and knee pain are common culprits that can quickly put a stop to your training. 3 things to consider when embarking on a new exercise regime: FOOTWEAR is a biggy! What type of training are you doing? Running, CrossFit, netball, hiking?? A particular shoe may be required for a particular activity. In many instances, footwear can be the cause of an injury, or may help to resolve an injury. Have a read of our ‘How to choose the correct training footwear‘ article. Be careful of TOO MUCH TOO SOON! Most people are super excited when starting a new exercise regime. Take it easy and slowly build up the intensity, duration and frequency. Rest days are allowed! Any niggly injuries should be addressed before you start! Are you having heel pain or forefoot pain after training? Knee pain doing squats or shin pain when sprinting? The sooner you address these issues the sooner they will resolve, and the more likely you will be to reach your fitness summit. At Foundation Podiatry Townsville our Podiatrists Hayley & Chris are leaders in their field of Biomechanical Podiatry. Visit us for a detailed Posture, Movement and Gait Assessment to identify the cause of your problem, instead of just treating the symptoms. Remember…..  ACTIVE FEET > ACTIVE BODY > ACTIVE LIFE By Hayley Paterson | Biomechanical Podiatrist Townsville

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Why do my shins hurt when I run?
Why do my shins hurt when I run?

This is a common complaint seen in my Townsville Podiatry clinic. Shin pain can be very frustrating, especially when you are just getting into an exercise regime. There are many causes of shin pain, but I think the most common cause is ‘too much too soon’. Patients will often get shin pain at the start of a footy season or 2 weeks into a 12 week boot-camp challenge. There are many causes of shin pain which can include: Over-pronated, collapsing arches High arch, rigid foot-type (poor at shock absorption) Weak/tight proximal muscles around hips/glut/core. Running is solely a single-leg activity. You need good stability around your hips/gluts to keep your hips level and control the force that your leg internally rotates on ground contact. Certain running gaits may increase your risk of developing shin pain – for example heel striking may increase the load on your anterior shin muscles; narrow cross-over running gait changes the angle your foot/leg strikes the ground which in turn increases the torque on your tibia and load on your shin muscles Crappy, worn out shoes Tight calf muscles, restricted ankle joint Sudden increase in training intensity and frequency Surface/ terrain It is important to have your shin pain correctly diagnosed and treated to allow you to return to exercise and avoid needing many weeks of complete rest. Please read our Shin Pain article for more detailed information.  

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The pitfalls of focusing on Foot Strike
The pitfalls of focusing on Foot Strike

So running boils down to a lot more than just chucking your runners on and putting one foot in front of the other. In this blog I’m going to discuss foot strike – particularly the pitfalls of ONLY focusing on foot strike. The way your foot strikes the ground when you run will fall into 3 categories. But it is important to note that 1 foot strike isn’t necessarily always better or worse than another. The most suitable foot strike required may change throughout a run – depending on terrain, ascending/descending hills, when you need to put the pedal to the metal etc.   HEEL STRIKE (Heel hits the ground before the rest of your foot) For adult runners, heel strike is the most common foot strike – here’s why: If you spend most of your day seated, you’ve probably developed chronically tight hips and sleepy glutes. As a result your stride reaches out much further in front of you than it needs to. This is because you’re not using your glutes, hips and hamstrings to drive your running. You may have heard the statement HEEL STRIKE is EVIL?More correctly, OVER-STRIDING is EVIL! But heel striking will often result in over-striding. "Over-striding (when your foot hits the ground in front of your body instead of underneath your body) – is like running with your brakes on". Or another way to think of it is to drive your car with one foot on the accelerator and the other foot on the brake. You are trying to go in a forward direction - running - but every time the heel hits the ground out in front it is actually slowing you down. So most heel strikers will over-stride, but you can still land with a forefoot or mid-foot strike and over-stride. A good time to heel strike (throw the brakes on) is when you need to decelerate coming down hills or make a sharp turn.   FOREFOOT STRIKE (Forefoot hits the ground first) Body weight is heavily focused onto the ball of the foot and the toes. Heels are likely not hitting the ground between steps. Your upper body may be a little bent forward from the hips. Forefoot strike is helpful to up your speed towards a finish line or up a small hill. Spending the majority of a long run in this position may lead to tightness and cramping in your calf and achilles complex.   MID-FOOT STRIKE  (The middle ground) It is the most neutral foot strike of the three. Most of your foot hits the ground at once, underneath your body (not out in front or too far behind). Your torso is balanced even on top of your hips, knees and ankles. Though you will need to call on your ‘brake’ and ‘gas’ pedals (heel and forefoot strike) at times during a run – you will need to find your version of the mid-foot strike for the majority of your longer runs.   The Pitfalls of only focusing on Foot Strike.... So I’ve just talked A LOT about the different foot strikes and how mid-foot strike is most efficient. BUT – foot strike is not the be all and end all of efficient running. To think of it another way - specific foot strike is not the CAUSE of efficient running, it is the RESULT of efficient running. The problem with concentrating just on foot strike when running is that it usually results in a runner having a stiff, tight dorsi-flexed ankle at ground contact.  This stiff, rigid ankle inhibits the 33 joints and 20 muscles in each foot from doing their job – acting like a dynamic spring. Focusing on the following tips will harvest far greater benefit to your running that just focusing on a specific foot strike: Mobility/proprioception/strength exercises to get your feet working like dynamic springs Good posture – think tall, tummy, tail and toes Quicker rhythm / cadence Appropriate drills and movement patterns – eg. low pulls / hammy snaps Strength & conditioning training – esp hips/glutes Improving the points from above will ultimately improve your foot strike and stop you from over-striding – without you even having to think about your foot strike!

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Let's be BAREFOOT!!
Let's be BAREFOOT!!

Take a moment to watch a pre-school aged child run, jump and play without fear. Notice how nimble and light they are on their feet? Rocks or rough terrain does not slow them down, that is of course, until they go to school and we put shoes on their feet. Our feet are AMAZING! They are designed to feel, cushion and spring our way through life. Wearing big clumpy shoes on our feet all day long denies our feet the opportunity to work to their true potential. In the video below, Hayley shares some insight into the many benefits of spending time barefoot – especially on natural surfaces: We humans are supposed to be barefoot! Most modern shoes are EVIL – they make our feet stiff, weak and lazy. Unique plantar proprioceptors are found on the bottom of our feet – they constantly talk to us – tell us what surface we are walking on etc. But they also sense VIBRATION – which prepares our foot to work like a DYNAMIC SPRING. Remember - our feet are the only contact we have with the ground. Each layer we add between our foot and the ground (shoes & socks) is interfering with this feedback. Have you heard of Earthing or Grounding – which is spending time barefoot on natural surfaces?? We operate in a heavily shod society. Most of our time is spent on man-made surfaces such as concrete and tiles.Let’s change this!  Are you prepared to take on Hayley’s challenge??

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How you STAND - is how you WALK - is how you RUN!
How you STAND - is how you WALK - is how you RUN!

I often get asked the following questions in my Townsville Podiatry clinic: How do I run faster? Should I be running on my forefoot or my heels? What is the best running shoe for me? How do I get rid of my stupid shin splints?? (insert frustrated emoji here) These are all good questions. Certainly - improving your running technique, wearing the most suitable running shoes, training appropriately and getting the right recovery time is integral to improving your performance. But what is also extremely important to consider is what we do for the other 23 hours a day when we are not running. This has a massive impact on our running gait and efficiency (for example our work footwear, occupation and our sitting, standing and walking posture). How about we consider these questions as well: 1. What shoes am I shoving my feet in all day at work? Are they switching off my instrinsic foot muscles and making my feet lazy? Are my work shoes pushing my big toe towards my 2nd toe and rendering it a useless arch support? Hang on, are my fancy high heels which shorten my calf muscles all day – are they helping my running gait?!? (I’m talking to the blokes here too – check out the heel height on your business shoes!) 2. How much do I sit down during the day & evening? We humans are supposed to be out in the bush hunting, tall & upright. Instead we sit at computers all day and slump forwards scrolling through Facebook. Even with the best sitting posture, too much sitting equals tight hip flexors and tight glutes. How can we then expect to run tall? 3. Hmmm… do I stand with my feet straight… or do I resemble Donald Duck? Lots of people stand and walk with their feet pointing outwards – instead of forwards. This again switches our glutes off, loads the lower back more and uses our stability muscles for going forwards instead of our prime movers. Check out my video below which explains this a bit better!

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Effective Treatment for Heel Pain in Townsville
Effective Treatment for Heel Pain in Townsville

Yes, heel pain in Townsville is common. Your work colleague, your sister - they've probably had it too. But so what!!! Heel pain can be darn PAINFUL! It makes you hobble like an 80 year old and can stop you from exercising. The thought of standing all day at work with heel pain is cringe worthy. Heel pain can even cause you to get tired and grumpy by the end of the day (& let’s face it - nobody wants to hang out with that person with the monkey on their back!) So why put up with heel pain?? Yes heel pain is common - in fact a large number of people will suffer a bout of heel pain across their adult life time. But this does not mean that it is not important and does not need to be treated. "As a Podiatrist in Townsville, I get tired of GP’s telling patients to put up with their heel pain – it will eventually go away". Why put up with pain for 3 months, sometimes 9 months, or in some cases for many years – when heel pain can be treated successfully, allowing you to enjoy a busy, active lifestyle? As previously mentioned, heel pain is a very common condition - yet it can be quite COMPLEX in nature - where a 'one size fits all treatment approach' often fails. An accurate diagnosis is important to recommend the most suitable treatment plan. Treatment for heel pain is often quite simple - especially if you seek treatment promptly. Often strapping to decrease the strain/load on the arch of the foot can give an immediate 40-70% reduction in pain!! Gentle exercises to warm the foot up after rest periods are very important. Certain shoes may help or exacerbate your heel pain. In some cases of heel pain, simple stretching and strengthening exercises is all that is required to be pain-free again. Some people may need Foot Supports (Orthotics) to completely knock their heel pain on the head. While others may require Low Level Laser therapy, Medical acupuncture or Shockwave therapy to kick-start their body's healing process. So as you can gather, how one person responds to heel pain treatment may be very different to the next person. At Foundation Podiatry we help ease the symptoms of heel pain for Townsville-based sufferers on a daily basis. In fact, our Podiatrists only deal with foot and lower limb pain - every patient, every day. We respect that all our patients are different. We utilise the latest treatment options with a personalised approach to help you become pain-free in the shortest time possible! For a more detailed explanation of heel pain click here. So please, don’t just put up with dreaded heel pain any longer – come and have a chat with our friendly Townsville Podiatrists today!

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Our feet are connected to our core – Townsville Podiatrist Hayley explains…
Our feet are connected to our core – Townsville Podiatrist Hayley explains…

So yogis have been awake to the powerful interconnection between FOOT to CORE for a very long time – referring to the foot as ‘Pada Bundha’ and the pelvic floor as ‘Mula Bundha’. Focusing on the communication between these two Bundha’s allows for a very strong practice. The pathway between the deep foot stabilisers (intrinsic foot muscles) and the deep core stabilisers (pelvic floor, deep lateral hip rotators) is referred to as our local stabilisation pathway. During movement, the local stabilising muscles of the foot and core need to fire first before the big global stabilising muscles. The local stabilisers job is to stabilise the joints, provide proprioceptive feedback and increase muscle stiffness and tension thereby providing cushioning. The global stabilisers generate the force to control acceleration and deceleration. If the local stabilisers do not fire first or if the ‘foot to core’ sequencing is delayed, then injury risk is greater - think plantar fasciitis (heel pain), labral tear of hip, sciatica… Our foot to core integration is via our deep frontal line – a fascial pathway starting with the intrinsic muscles of the foot working up to the pelvic floor, to the Psoas and into the diaphragm. So our feet are part of our core stability! During walking and running the only contact point between the body and the ground is our foot – therefore foot stability is crucial for the correct transfer of impact forces. The faster our feet and core can “talk” to each other, the more efficient our gait will be and therefore our injury risk decreases.

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How to choose the correct training footwear
How to choose the correct training footwear

Shoes, shoes, shoes. They can be the cause of your injury, or help you avoid or overcome an injury. With so many different shoe types (and colours) on the market, how does one choose the correct footwear for their foot-type and activity? Firstly some pointers for correctly choosing footwear in general: The shoe should be flat – even a small heel raise can cause long term compensatory problems The shoe should bend at the toe (where your foot naturally bends) The shoe should have some flex and forgiveness in the middle – our foot is not supposed to be locked up in a coffin all day! The widest part of the shoe should be at your toes – your toes are supposed to wiggle and grip – not be squeezed together all day (sorry ladies and gents – pointy toes are a no no) Allow your thumb’s width gap at the end of the longest toe (which may be the 2nd toe) The shape of the shoe should match the foot (eg. curved last for a curved foot) The midsole of the shoe should be firm yet shock absorbing Next you need to choose the correct shoe for your foot-type. Just because Asics for example is a good brand of footwear, not all Asics will be suited to your foot-type. Neutral shoe – for a foot-type that is structurally correct (no excessive arch collapse). A neutral shoe provides cushioning but no extra support as a neutral foot-type does not need extra support. Anti-pronation shoe – for a foot-type that requires more support (due to excessive arch collapse). An anti-pronation shoe has a medial post (firmer grey rubber) on the inside of the shoe which makes this part of the shoe stronger. Anti-pronation shoes come in mild, moderate and severe anti-pronation control. Lastly, it’s really important to match your footwear to your activity. Playing touch football in a tennis shoe is likely end up in all sorts of mischief! Walking shoes Walking and running is a straight line motion sport (versus change of direction such as aerobics). Therefore a walking shoe should have good flexibility in the toe, however may not be as flexible in the toe as a running shoe. Midsole cushioning in the heel and forefoot is important for walking shoes, especially if you are walking on bitumen or concrete. A good walking shoe will have a slightly rounded sole or rocker bottom which helps to shift weight from heel strike into toe-off, reducing the forces on forefoot. Running shoes Running is also straight line motion, so having lots of flexibility in the toe is really important. Running shoes should also have good cushioning in the midsole, especially if you are road running. Over the years opinions on ‘the best’ running shoes have jumped about – from conventional running shoes, to minimalist running shoes, and more recently to maximalist, highly cushioned running shoes. Not one type of running shoe suits everybody. Take into consideration your body weight, running technique, running experience, terrain, mileage, foot-type and any injuries you may have. Cross training / Court sports Shoes Activities such as aerobics, netball and tennis involve predominantly lateral (side-to-side) movements. Shoes for these activities should provide good lateral support to reduce the risk of an injury ocuring, such as an ankle sprain. They often incorporate more leather in the upper compared to mesh which also provides more side to side stability. A cross training shoe must have some flexibility in the toe, but not as much as a running shoe would need. They have less flex grooves in the forefoot and more rubber in the outer-sole to contact the ground to provide grip. Some cross-trainers are now made with a 80% running base and 20% court base, which would be suitable for someone who wants to do maybe 2 aerobics classes, 1 run and 1 hit of tennis per week. Other cross-trainers are 80% court base and 20% running based for those wanting to do predominantly court activities. You do not necessarily need a different pair of shoes for every activity you participate in. However, if you are doing a certain activity (such as running) 3 times per week or more than you would benefit from wearing a sport-specific shoe. Sporting and running injuries are extremely common and often poor footwear is the culprit – are your training shoes up to scratch?

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How often should I replace my runners?
How often should I replace my runners?

Most runners wait far too long before replacing their runners and risk overuse injuries as a result. Generally running shoes should last between 600 and 1000 kilometres, although this depends on your body weight, how often and far you run, the terrain you run on and your running style. Heavy runners who pound the ground every day over long distances will wear out their footwear much quicker than a light jogger who runs once or twice a week. As you approach the “worn out” mileage mark, see how your shoes feel. If they leave your feet feeling fatigued, replace them. Don’t wait until the tread on your soles is worn completely flat, or you’re seeing the midsole showing through the bottom!! The most common injuries related to worn-out runners include shin pain, knee pain, plantar fasciitis (heel pain) and forefoot pain. Our Podiatrists at Foundation Podiatry Townsville use the Dead Shoe Test to see if your runners need replacing. If you can bend the forefoot of the shoe backwards (the opposite way to what your toes would flex) – then it is time to replace your runners! Also when pressing your thumb against the forefoot of the shoe there should be quite a bit of resistance against your thumb – if your thumb feels like it’s about to go through the midsole means the cushioning has ‘had it’. Remember – softness is NOT cushioning – firmness or resistance is cushioning! It’s also important to check that the wear pattern is even on each runner, and no excessive wear in any one area. For further info check out our blog:  How to Choose the Correct Training Footwear. If you have concerns regarding your running technique, which runners you should be wearing or you have a lower limb injury…. then give our friendly team at Foundation Podiatry Townsville a call today on 4775 1760!

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