As the weather starts to improve we all find ourselves increasing activities outdoors. This may be spending more time in the garden, going out for an evening walk or increasing our miles when out on a run. We all know the health benefits of regular exercise both physical and mental and we rely on our feet to bear the extra burden.
Usually feet are more than happy with this extra activity but sometimes, as we start to become more active, we develop niggles, pain or full-blown injury. Often niggles will come and go and can be helped with good general foot care, the right footwear and not rushing any increases in activity.
The difficulties occur, of course, as soon as these niggles start becoming pain and injury. We asked what advice Edward would give to people struggling with an injury:
- The most important thing to do when an injury strikes is to cut back on activity immediately to give the area some rest.
- First aid measures such as ice and compression are always useful to settle an area as quickly as possible.
- When planning to return to your chosen activity make sure you have the correct footwear for the correct terrain and that it is matched to the actual activity.
- Make sure you do not start back to high levels of activity too quickly.
Finding the root cause of the injury is very important to help prevent long-term recurrence and speed up the actual healing process.
If you are struggling with a foot or leg injury or foot pain that simply will not go away we are here to help you. By contacting us at Total Foot Health you will have access to a range of specialists, clinical equipment and diagnostic tools to help us get you back doing the things you love doing as quickly as possible.
Often I hear patients telling me they tried to run through an injury or niggle and, without exception, this makes the injury worse. It is therefore important that you seek professional advice and assessment if there is any doubt in your mind as to your ability to complete the training schedule.
The experts at Total Foot Health can help you with all aspects of care from video gait analysis to understand the reason for your problem, through to rehabilitation of injury and improvement in running efficiency.
My 3 Golden Rules
- If you are running long distance, train and strengthen the whole body.
- If you have pain you need to get this assessed as soon as possible.
- If you are purchasing footwear go with the most comfortable and get a couple of pairs.
One of the first questions a patient often asks me is “What trainers should I get”?
Sadly there is no straightforward answer to this as there are many factors that have to be taken into account and also many myths surrounding running and running footwear.
As you walk into a running shop you will see racks and racks of running shoes. Shoes can be described as structured, supportive, cushioned, structured cushioning, free shoes, bare foot shoes to name but a few. The truth is there is no one correct answer that will benefit all people; there are however a lot of wrong answers.
Before we get into the great trainers debate there are a few things which we should consider as part of your training regime. There is a lot more to running than just simply going out and pounding the pavements.
In order to run effectively and reduce the chance of injury we should consider the structures of the body well above the foot. It is important to understand just where our forward drive is generated and the difference that some simple core strengthening and conditioning exercises can have over the lower leg is considerable
As part of our assessment process for any MSK condition the whole body should be considered. This is particularly so for athletes who are considering increasing activity. During our video gait analysis sessions we look well beyond the foot into the proximal structures and can advise accordingly on a rehabilitation programme that may need to be specifically designed by our in-house rehabilitation therapist with personal international sports experience.
In answer to my original question “What trainers should I wear”?
Personally I would always recommend patients to purchase footwear from a smaller, independently run shop and from someone who knows their range of footwear intimately. Salisbury’s Sole Obsession, located in Fisherton Street, is an excellent example.
Do not be concerned if you are an over or under pronator, the very best advice I can give is; go with what feels the most comfortable!
For marathon or other long distance running I would recommend that once you have found a shoe that you like go out and purchase a couple of pairs. Then use one pair for training and start using the second pair when you in your final 3 or 4 weeks of your training regime. This will break them in gradually allowing you to use them for the event itself.