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Town Center Foot & Ankle

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By pete
March 20, 2011
Category: Uncategorized
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Spring track season is just about here, if only mother nature would cooperate. As a former high school track athlete I can remember the days of training and the following days of all the aches and pains that accompany pre-season training. I would like to take the opportunity to reflect and offer some helpful tips I have learned from years of running AND formal medical sports medicine experience.

First, and this pertains to sprinters and distance runners alike, running (and running healthy), is a year round sport. Regular "base training maintains not just good cardio-vascular conditioning but helps avoid overuse injuries like shin splints, severe muscle aches, and even srtess fractures. The most important equipment for a runner (both sprinters and distance runners), it the proper training shoe. I have over ten years of experience selling running shoes, twenty five years worth of buying them, and another twelve years experience as a podiatrist evaluating and educating patients on the appropriate shoe. Shoes have evolved greatly with features to control unstable feet, adding better and more durable cushioning. The vast array of companies allow the runner to search for the ideal shoe with all the necessary features with the best possible fit! Often times the problem is "Where do I find someone who knows which shoe is best for me?" There are many specialty "niche" running stores in the greater Detroit area which are the ideal establishment for obtaing the correct shoe. Below is a brief and probably incomplete list of running stores:

Runnin' Gear - Waterford, Rochester, and Brighton

Total Runner- Southfield, Novi

Complete Runner- Flint

Bauman's Running Center- Grand Blanc

Hanson's Running Centers- Royal Oak, Utica, St. Clair Shores

 

Second, and rather passionately, I would like to discuss track spikes! They are a must for sprinters, and they are lighter and give better leverage and traction for middle and log distance runners, but I strongly urge caution. Track spikes have NO SUPPORT and LITTLE CUSHIONING!

I often have lectured at high schools to coaches and track athletes about the downfall of spikes in beginner athletes. My GENERAL rule is no distance runner races in spikes until they have been running and racing for two years, or generally until the age of 15 for girls and upwards of !^ High school girls have an advantage that most of them are skeletally mature by the age of 15, whereby high school boys are often not completely skeletally mature until after high school. Serious injuries have presented to my office as a direct result of overuse/abuse of track spikes in distance runners. Especially of the runner has less than perfect foot mechanics, as few runners do.

Picture a semi-flat flexible foot type striking the ground (each foot strike can add up to 3-5 times their body weight). Biomechanical instability of the foot will be greatly magnified by the impact, lack of support, and repetitive stress load on the foot over the distance of a half mile, mile or two mile. The small intrinsic muscles of the foot cannot overcome the demand of repetitive unstable load the foot endures over distances, often times leading to injury. WE ALL WANT TO BE FAST, BUT AT WHAT PRICE? KEEP OUR KIDS HEALTHY AND AWAY FROM INJURY, WHEN IN DOUBT......HAVE YOUR CHILD EVALUATED BY A PODIATRIST FOR A "FOOT PHYSICAL" BEFORE THE PAINS START.

On a brief note, I am currently working on fine tuning a new design for an orthotic device specific for track spikes which may help provide much needed stability and possibly prevent injuries often caused from racing in track spikes.

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