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Kyle Lotz - Thursday, November 16, 2017

Injury Prevention from the Ground Up:

Did you know that your feet are the 2nd most sensitive part of your body after your hands? While hands need that sensory feedback for our fine sense of touch, feet are different. They need the sensory feedback because, as upright humans, our feet serve as our sole point of contact with the Earth. As such, our brain needs input from our feet to maintain balance and alignment against gravity, as well as to help us distribute and shift the weight of our bodies and things we carry.

Footwear is very important. The shoes you choose to wear during any prolonged or strenuous activity can significantly impact how sore your back, hips, knees and feet feel during or after the activity. Out of over 1.2 million people surveyed, Sports Medicine Australia found that over 70% of runners were injured, with 42% of these injuries to the knee, 17% to foot and ankle, 13% to lower leg and ankle and 11% to the hip and/or pelvis.

To avoid becoming another injury statistic, pick the right protective footwear for the job. For running, or prolonged walking, wear comfortable, well-fitted supportive footwear with some shock absorption in the sole or insert. This reduces the impact of forces from hard surfaces which may traumatize the knee or ankle, or jolt the joints of the hip, pelvis or lower back. Shock absorptive footwear may also help reduce long term pain from old ankle and lower leg fractures, or flare-ups of nagging plantar fasciitis.

For lifting or moving heavy objects, a well-fitted shoe with a firmer, flatter and more even heel surface is better. This allows for a more stable platform or foundation, so that the foot has maximum feedback to stabilize the load through the body, and thus the body can use less energy (and risk less injury) to balance itself out.

Make sure your footwear fits properly according to your foot type and the way you walk. If you have foot problems, or whenever you buy new shoes, take well-worn old ones in so the professional can see how you wear the heel in activities. For footwear professionals it can help them recommend the most comfortable shoe for you, and for healthcare professionals it will help them diagnose and correct weight-bearing problems. If you have any questions about footwear to reduce or prevent injury, ask Kyle at King Street Natural Health Centre.

Sources:

Sports Medicine Australia: http://sma.org.au/resources-advice/sports-fact-sheets/running/

Athletics Australia: www.athletics.com.au