Runners MOT – Brighton Half Marathon

physio or chiropractic for PFS in BrightonRunning injuries often start with a niggle. Knee pain, muscle strain, tendon pulls, bursitis, ligament sprains and all sorts of other aches and pains are a constant reminder that marathon training and actually running it can be a hazardous business. Many people who enter for the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon will not complete it because of injury. We aim make sure you are not one of them.

For the next few weeks we are offering a free Runners MOT especially aimed at runners in the Vitality Brighton Marathon. We want you to be fit, strong and ready to run in support of the Sussex Beacon.

Our physios will check you out top to bottom concentrating on your footwear and leg and foot movements. We will check all the usual things like over-pronation but also things that often over-looked like jamming of the hinge joint of the ankle which changes stride length. We will look at knees, hips and backs too. At the end of our Runners MOT you will have an in depth risk profile of the likelihood of future running injuries and a plan for prevention. If you are having problems currently then we will give you a plan for the best recovery.

So don’t let a niggle turn into a pain, call to make an appointment.

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Do I need orthotics for running?

Orthtoics for Runners KneeWhy would I need orthotics?

Although running shoe design and technology has progressed leaps and bounds over recent years, there are certain foot types that will require more support, explains James Masterson, physio here at Sundial, Brighton.  However not everyone will benefit from orthotics and it’s important to gain professional advice before deciding on whether an orthotic is right for you.  A full biomechanical assessment from a physiotherapist or chiropractor can help determine whether the underlying root of the problem stems from your feet and whether or not an orthotic is appropriate for your foot type.

Orthotics can help running and are designed to optimize the alignment of the lower limb, which can improve shock absorption in the lower extremity and realign joints from the foot all the way through the kinetic chain to the spine, preventing problems foot, knee or hip.  The main role of an orthotic is to restore a neutral alignment which will in turn reduce the stress carried throughout the body during weight bearing activities.  This is particularly important during running as (hopefully!) the feet are the only part of your body in constant contact with the ground.

An orthotic can either be an off the peg prefabricated orthotic, with a selection made to fit most general foot types, or a custom made orthotic, normally constructed by a podiatrist which is made specifically for the individual. The off the peg orthotics work well for most people and are considerably cheaper. We sell Superfeet orthotics at Sundial.

Another important factor worth considering with orthotics is that most people change their shoes several times throughout the day.  Although your running shoe will provide you with support whilst you’re wearing them, it’s likely that you will spend more time out of these shoes than in them.  This can potentially lead to overuse injuries during regular every day activities, especially if your profession requires you to spend large amounts of time on your feet.  This is another way in which an orthotic can be useful as it can often be taken from one shoe and placed in another.  However orthotics aren’t your only option and if possible should only be used as a short term solution, please see my future posts on physiotherapy exercises to improve overpronation.

The three basic foot types:

Firstly, it should be noted that pronation is a natural movement of the foot’s mechanics.  It occurs at the joint below the ankle called the subtalar joint and this movement allows the foot to roll in slightly during the stance phase of gait and helps the lower limb deal with shock.  Although this process is not necessarily detrimental to your body it can affect your running style and possibly lead to injury.

 Neutral foot:Over pronation, Brighton physio

This means that you’re a neutral pronator, meaning your foot rolls in slightly and you push off evenly through the front of the foot.  Sometimes you can tell if someone is a neutral runner by looking at the sole of their shoe, running from the heel to the big toe along the outer surface there will often be signs of S-shaped wear and tear.

Underpronator:

Underpronation, or supination as it is often referred to, is when the outer surface of your foot hits the ground at an increased angle causing minimal or no natural pronation.  Again this leads to access shock throughout the lower limb and can be potentially damaging to your body when running.

Overpronator:

There is significantly more inward rolling of the foot meaning more weight is transferred to the inner surface of the foot late in the stance phase.  This causes instability and leads to compensatory movement patterns throughout the kinetic chain, potentially leading to injury throughout the lower limb and within the spine.

If you have any queries or want more help then book in for a free Runner’s MOT

 

Happy running.

Running shoes – top tips for the marathon season from Brighton physio

Choosing running shoe, Brighton physioIf like me you’re considering starting your preparation for the up and coming marathon season then take a look at my top tips for staying injury free and completing the 26.2 miles with a smile on your face says James Masterson,  a physiotherapist here at Sundial, Brighton.

Which running shoe shall I buy?

Inappropriate footwear is the root of all evil when it comes to running.  Before embarking on the long and tedious road to the finish line every runner should start with their feet.  Visiting your local running shop for a gait analysis is a good place to begin. As well as being advised on the most appropriate running shoe for your foot type it’s also an opportunity to view yourself in action.  Video analysis taken during these consultations will allow you to look at your lower limb alignment whilst you’re walking and running, giving you a good idea of movement patterns which could potentially lead to overuse injury.

 Top 5 running injuries caused by over use and inappropriate footwear:

1. Plantar fasciitis

2. Achilles tendinitis

3. Medial tibial stress syndrome (aka shin splints)

4. Patellofemoral pain syndrome (aka Runners knee)

5. Iliotibial band syndrome

When it comes to purchasing your shoe it’s likely that you will come across the below terms. Remember it’s not all about what foot type you are!  Take the time to get a feel for the shoe, being able to stand, jump, walk and run before handing over your cash is a great way to find out if the shoe works for you and reduce the risk of injury later in your training.

Useful tips for purchasing your running shoe:

  • Try having a foot analysis in the late afternoon/evening as your feet swell as the day goes on and may give you a false feel when purchasing your running shoes in the morning.
  • Pick a shoe that matches the contour of your arch, you won’t be able to feel this by just standing in them so always make sure you take them for a spin before handing over your cash.
  • Try and have your feet measured before trying on your shoe, this will give the running shoe assistant an idea of the size and width of your foot.  Different brands suit different foot types and not all shoes will equal in size, for example, Nike shoes tend to be good for wider feet and Adidas tend to be better for a narrow foot type.
  • Don’t buy your shoes too small, the fabric will loosen as time goes on but generally if a shoe has hot spots that aggravate your feet whilst trying them out in the shop then it’s likely this will occur during your training.  Remember! Tight shoes equal blisters and potential toenail damage, this will limit the amount you’ll be able to train and will also look horrendous in a pair of flip flops.
  • Lace your shoe up from the bottom up, not just at the top two eyelets!  This allows you to support the shoe around your foot equally and avoids excess movement.  Your heel should fit snug within the shoe and your toes need to have some wriggle room at the front.  A good test for this is to see if you can still scrunch up your toes whilst the shoe is fully laced up.
  • Change your shoes according to your individual usage, most manufactures will recommend that you change your shoe roughly every 300 – 500 miles but this is dependent on so many factors, for example a person’s weight, gait mechanics and running terrain will all play a massive factor in your choice to change your shoes.  Let’s be honest running shoes are expensive, so my advice is look for signs of wear and tear and as soon as the natural cushioning of the shoe starts to depreciate this is probably a good time to start looking for your new runners.

If you have any queries or want more help then book in for a free Runner’s MOT.

Happy running.

Next: Do I need orthotics?

 

 

Foot, Knee or Hip pain – A Simple Solution

If you ever get foot knee or hip pain on standing or walking for a while, then you’ll know the misery that this can cause.

Fortunately, there is a simple solution.

Here at Sundial we use Superfeet orthotics to help ease the discomfort. In this short video Brighton chiropractor Matthew Bennett talks about the causes of foot knee and hip pain associated with over-pronation. If you want to know more about this click here:–

If you would like to know if you would benefit from wearing Superfeet orthotics then pop in for a free check with one of our physios or chiropractors here in Brighton.