What Runners Need to Know About Running Injuries: Part II-Contact Style

In Part 1 we discussed that all running injuries are related to LOADING RATE.  To review, loading rate is how quickly the body (bone, tendon, muscle) absorbs the ground reaction forces with each step.  That is how our body handles speed and force.  Jay Dicharry PT, has done some awesome work in this area.  He has a book "Anatomy for Runners" and should be required reading in PT school and can be a great gift for any runner.  He says:


Running Injuries are directly related loading rate (Part 1). Loading rate is directly related to Contact style or how you land (Part 2), Limb Alignment or what your body is doing (Part 3), and Limb Stiffness or how your body adapts to force of running (Part 4).


Contact style is the focus of todays discussion.  Contact style is the interaction of the body and the surface you are touching.  It is the foot versus the ground.  Contact style is; are you landing forefoot, mid foot, hind foot or heel striking, landing hard, landing soft, over striding, under striding, what type of footwear do you use, asphalt, concrete, trail, etc.  Runners say "Heel striking is bad, right?  I should be a "forefoot striker?"  The truth is it doesn't matter.  WHOA!  It only matters where that contact occurs.  There are efficient heel strikers and there are inefficient fore footers.  Actually, the bare footers have it right.  What they learn (of course they learn the hard way, lol) is that soft landing is the key.  There are many studies that show the best possible cue for runners is "landing soft."  We see large changes in ground reaction force with soft landing.  Before you throw your shoes out, you must know that the bare footers traded old injuries for new ones.  The fact is that efficient running can occur with shoes on.  Did you realize footwear doesn't matter?  Wait, whhhhaaat?  The running industry makes millions of dollars brain washing you that you need new shoes when the pain comes back.  If your contact style is dependent on footwear then you will require footwear.  If your contact style depends on your bodies ability to move with stability (limb alignment, Part III) and control then the footwear does not matter.  Shoes cannot effectively correct movement errors.  

The best way to manage contact style is to work on landing soft.

At MVPT, a gait evaluation is key to healthy and effective running.  The gait evaluation is $135 one time fee and will be the baseline.  One hour, one on one, injury past, physical exam, "functional" exam, and video analysis on the treadmill.  Education comes next.  From there we can give you specific running homework (follow-up appointments are $1 a minute) and your progression from there depends on you.  You will be educated on what you need to do reach your goals and treatment will be YOUR decision.  We can be there once or twice a week to ensure effective inclusion of your exercises and running cues or we can meet less often, if that fits your lifestyle.  If you get injured down the road your videos and baseline data will be available to you.  We can be here the whole way close or from afar.  After all, the goal is life long runners who are setting the bar higher and higher and getting more and more efficient.  Go to our website maxvelocityPT.com to request an appointment today!