I am sure that everyone has heard about barefoot/ minimalist running as I am constantly asked about this when my runners come and see me in the office. One important thing to remember is that barefoot running is running without any shoes and minimalist running is running with shoes designed not to change your gait pattern. (5 finger shoes) When running most people strike the ground with their heel and then transfer weight to the their forefoot and then toes. Most people are not natural forefoot strikers as barefoot runners frequently talk about. A forefoot striker is a person that when running, has the ball of the foot strike the ground first and then the calf muscles contract to prevent the heel from slamming into the ground. Since you are hitting the ground with the ball of the foot, which does not have as much cushioning as the heel, there is an increased risk of forefoot injuries such as stress fractures, neuromas, as well as Achilles tendon strains and sprains because the Achilles is working hard to prevent the heel from slamming into the ground with every stride.
In the past when most running was done on grassy or soft surfaces, this may have been an okay form of running. Unfortunately, in today’s society, most running is done on pavement or sidewalks and rarely on grassy surfaces that offer more cushioning to the feet. Constantly running on pavement as a barefoot runner, has a negative effect on the entire front of the foot. Combining this with the increasing BMI’s in the United States does not lend itself well to most people running barefoot.
If barefoot running is something that you are interested in trying or have further questions about it, call Quality Foot Care today at 215-230-9707 to make an appointment with Doylestown’s local podiatrists!
If you have decided to take up running or jogging in this beautiful weather than you are not alone. Running is one of those sports where you do not need a lot of equipment. The thing to remember is that you need to have a good fitting pair of running shoes.
When walking into a running store one quickly learns that there are a lot of brands. If you are new to running do not let all the different brands confuse you. There are a few things to keep in mind when you are looking for a good pair of running shoes.
To keep your feet and legs injury free, you will have to have happy feet. When entering a running store, you need to remember that the shoes have to fit perfect from the heel to toe. Your heel should fit snug but not too tight. Lace up the shoe but do not tie it. Once the shoe is laced up and not tied you should be able to slide your foot out of the shoe.
The running shoe’s upper should hug your instep. If you are feeling areas that are too tight or pinching then the shoe does not fit well. If you are having pain while trying them on, just think how much more pain you would have after running with them for about a mile?
Your foot should be able to move from side to side in the forefoot area of the shoe. Next, you should make sure that you can grasp a ¼ inch of the upper materials down the widest part of the foot. Remember that feet lengthen and swell over the duration of your run. You always want to make sure there is about an inch of extra room between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. A friend or the person doing the fitting can check the width while you are standing up with the shoe laced.
How does the arch feel? If the arch feels like it is slightly supported than these shoes should be good. The pros suggest the shoes for a short run. A run can be in the store, a treadmill or the hallway of a mall.
5 Things not to do When Looking for Running Shoes
Never buy running shoes because they are “cute”. It is important that they fit well.
Buying shoes that are too small can lead to a number of things including black toenails and blisters.
Never buy your running shoes in the morning. Your feet begin to swell as soon as you get up in the morning. Always purchase running shoes in the late afternoon or early evening.
Do not guess at the size of your foot. When looking to purchase running shoes have your feet measured by a professional.
Never buy walking shoes, tennis shoes, basketball sneakers in place of running shoes. Wearing other types of shoes can cause injury.
Running and jogging are quite enjoyable. If you have been jogging and had pain that will not go away contact Quality Foot Care and make an appointment with Dr. Kenneth Lefkowitz.
Sometimes people experiencing pain in their feet are surprised to see that an x-ray reveals no visible crack or fracture in the bone. This could indicate that they have a stress fracture, or a tiny hairline fracture on the surface of the bone (usually the weight bearing bones of the lower leg and foot). Athletes such as basketball players, soccer players, and runners are particularly prone to this kind of injury.
Stress fractures are caused by repetitive application of force, so people regularly involved in exercises that include jumping up and down or running long distances on hard surfaces are often victims. Also, people with osteoporosis (which weakens the bones) can develop stress fractures from normal everyday use of a bone.
In the beginning a stress fracture may be unnoticeable, but the discomfort, which is decreased during rest, usually worsens over time. Many runners report feeling discomfort due to a stress fracture at the same specific point in their run every time. Pain is for the most part concentrated to one specific point, which can become visibly swollen. If the underlying cause of a stress fracture is not addressed, it may not heal properly and will cause chronic pain and/or more stress fractures.
The main method of treatment for a stress fracture is reducing the weight bearing load on your feet until the bone heals. Wearing a walking boot/brace and possibly even using crutches can achieve this purpose. Resting from activity as well as icing the area to reduce swelling can ensure that your stress fracture heals properly.
If you believe you have a stress fracture and the pain persists or becomes severe even during rest, it is time to call Quality Foot Care at 215-230-9707. Dr. Lefkowitz and his staff have the expertise and care to provide effective treatment for stress fractures and all other foot and ankle concerns at their Doylestown office.
Plantar fasciitis is the most common complaint amongst runners. Overtraining, not stretching the calf muscles, or frequently practicing sprinting or uphill running are all factors in the development of plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue stretching from the toes to the heel, tends to tear when the foot becomes overworked. This results in inflammation and pain. The plantar fascia has a poor blood supply, so the condition is usually chronic and slow to heal. Plantar fasciitis in runners often leads to heel spurs, calcium deposits which form when the bone attempts to heal itself. Spurs can further irritate the fascia, and are sometimes painful because of the surrounding irritation they cause.
Achillies tendonitis is another concern for serious runners. The Achillies tendon runs from the heel to the calf and propels you forward when you run. It can easily become inflamed when overworked, resulting in a condition known as Achillies tendonitis. Achillies tendonitis can keep you from running until the inflammation reduces.
The best advice for runners to avoid plantar fasciitis, Achillies tendonitis, and other foot problems is to invest in comfortable, well-fitting sneakers. Good running sneakers help absorb shock, taking some of the stress off of your feet. Also, never forget to stretch, but always warm up with a 10 minute jog before stretching. Attempting to stretch cold muscles can cause injury.
If you are a runner or any type of athlete seeking advice on how to keep your feet in shape for top performance, Quality Foot Care in Doylestown has all the services and resources you need. Call 215-230-9707 to make an appointment with Dr. Lefkowitz today.