Were you one of the 40 000 plus Queenslanders who braved the early morning chill to climb the Sir Leo Hielscher bridge and walk or run your way to the RNA showgrounds? This was the 4th time my 11 year old daughter and I have participated, and we love the exercise and carnival atmosphere of one of the Australia’s largest fun runs. We walk and jog the course, enjoy the scenery and make a mad dash for the line to try and improve on last year’s time!
Being a podiatrist, it’s an occupational hazard walking alongside such a large pack of people; I can’t help but to observe the variety or different walking and running styles, choice of footwear to participate in and how people cope with the gradual fatigue that can set in. I suppose in many ways this is a perfect cross section of our community, with elite runners up the front slogging it out for a podium finish, recreational runners just behind and then the weekend hackers (me included) making up the pack.
It amazes me that so many people may not be aware of how their foot and leg biomechanics affect their body’s overall function. So common amongst the participants was some characteristics, that after pointing out to my daughter a few cases of quite profound excessive pronation (the most common form of foot dysfunction, where the ankle leans inwards and the arch of the foot flattens when standing and walking) she started to point them out to me!
Every day in clinic I assist people recover from biomechanical related foot, leg and hip/back – sometime it can take months to return to normal activities following an overuse injury such as:
- Plantar fasciitis (pain on the heel or arch)
- Shin splints (pain typically on the inner shin, but this term encompasses all shin pain)
- Achilles tendonitis (either at the back of the heel bone or just above)
- Stress fractures (bone fatigue that leads to a partial break – commonly metatarsal of the forefoot)
- Anterior knee pain (around or to the side of the knee cap)
Almost all of these conditions can be avoided with awareness of the biomechanical dysfunction and appropriate advice and treatment if necessary. Even being recommended the right type of shoe may be beneficial in some cases.
For those that would like to see what excessive foot pronation looks like check out the following link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQ83QrPKKMU
If you’re feeling more than just muscle fatigue today, or suffer from one of the conditions above you should have your lower limb biomechanics investigated with video gait analysis. A podiatrist competent in assessing and managing sports injuries will then be able to provide you with the advice you need to ensure you run faster next year!
Darren Stewart – Podiatrist (my FootDr podiatry centres)