Why Running Gait Matters: How To Avoid Injury

Why Running Gait Matters: How To Avoid Injury

You Running Gait Matters

here's why:


Forefoot and midfoot strike runners tend to have increased cadence in running, which means that their feet strike the ground more often. They also have shorter stride lengths, more knee flexion and less ankle dorsiflexion.

The benefits of forefoot and midfoot striking:

  • A short stride length puts the center of gravity closer to the body, giving you greater balance and stability.
  • A faster cadence reduces overall loading, meaning that your feet don’t bear too much weight, decreasing injury.
  • Together, these biomechanical changes should result in less impact damage. Also, with forefoot strike, the calf muscles work harder and this can reduce overall impact load; however, it can put a lot of strain on the Achilles and that is sometimes a problem.

Knee strain is also reduced with a non-heel strike pattern of running. Because more muscles are engaged with a forefoot strike, the leg has more shock absorption with a forefoot strike than with a heel strike. Because the actions of the leg are more efficient with a midfoot or forefoot strike, the metabolic demands of running are diminished, and the runner becomes more efficient – faster, with more endurance. A running pattern that involves a mid or forefoot strike also takes advantage of the inherent capacity of the arch to store energy, which can also improve your time.

Choose Structure Over Cushion

when picking new footwear

It has been shown that using arch supports weakens the foot over time and can actually lead to injury. Minimalist shoes usually do not have much in terms of arch support, which encourages your arch to self-support, making your arch stronger and bettering your overall foot health.

It has also been found that the cushioning found in the heels of most traditional running shoes do not reduce the risk of heel injury. In other words, no amount of heel cushioning seems to make a difference when it comes to tibial stress fractures and plantar fasciitis.

Paradoxically, cushioning in a shoe can lead to problems like plantar fasciitis. Too much cushioning in the heel during impact can lead to excessive eversion of the heel and then to excessive pronation of the midfoot. This strains the plantar fascia.

Cushioned shoes also require more work from the knee and hip, both because they tend to be heavier than minimalist shoes, but also because the added cushion creates a larger shoe that must be lifted higher to clear the ground during a running stride. This creates the possibility of a greater risk of injury to the knee with highly cushioned traditional running shoes.

Most of the benefits of minimalist running are compelling but still theoretical as not enough studies have been done. Also, enterprising attorneys recently settled a class action lawsuit against Vibram for claims they made about the benefits of the FiveFingers shoe they made, so it is important to do your research and trust your own lived experience when choosing new running wear. It’s also not a bad idea to ask your physician or physical therapist for running shoe recommendations.

Some would say that minimalist running doesn’t eliminate injuries, but simply changes the type of injuries. Nonetheless, a lot of studies are showing significant benefits to simply changing the position of the foot during impact with running. New “minimalist” running shoes simply accommodate a movement already afoot.

Recover Quickly And Fully

Recovery after exercise is just as important as what you do during your run. If you aren’t fully recovered and are fatigued during your next run, you’re more likely to step out of the right running gait and overuse muscles, injuring  yourself.

Our products here at Well Theory are designed to help you heal and recover naturally – and are developed to seamlessly fit into your routine. Our new Tart Cherry Extract supplement is ideal for soothing away pain from sore muscles and provides support for a healthier cardiovascular system – so you can run longer and more efficiently. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Meredith Warner is the creator of Well Theory and The Healing Sole. She is a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Air Force Veteran.

She is on a mission to disrupt traditional medicine practices and promote betterment physically, spiritually and mentally to many more people. She advocates for wellness and functional health over big pharma so more people can age vibrantly with more function and less pain.

At Well Theory, Our surgeon-designed products are FDA Registered and formulated to help people:

  • Manage the symptoms of musculoskeletal pain
  • Recover vibrantly from orthopedic related surgeries
  • Fill the gaps in our daily diets
  • Manage pain associated with inflammation

Surgeon Formulated
For Your Peace of Mind

Natural Ingredients + Cutting-Edge Medical Breakthroughs.

100% NATURAL PAIN RELIEF FOR PEOPLE WORLDWIDE

The Benefits Of Barefoot Running

The Benefits Of Barefoot Running

Barefoot Running

what is is & its benefits

Running is one of the most natural forms of exercise available to us. Human beings have evolved to be efficient runners from the hunter-gatherer days – long distance running was necessary for survival and led to the continued success and evolution of our species. We literally evolved to run, as distance running enabled our ancestors to gather and hunt the food needed to grow our brains to their current size and give us the intelligence our species has today.

Today, running is more recreational and generally not needed for survival. Endurance running is part of this recreational activity, carrying on a tradition our species has utilized for thousands of years. Running is extremely healthy and provides countless benefits, both cognitively and physically, but is not without risk of minor injury.

How You Can Avoid Running Injuries

with a new style of running shoe

Despite the running shoe industry and advances in sports medicine and prevention science, the overall amount of injuries to the legs, ankle and feet of runners has never really changed. About three out of four runners will sustain some sort of injury each year. These injuries include stress fractures, patellofemoral pain, iliotibial band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, patellar tendinitis and more.

Once the book Born To Run, by Christopher McDougall was published in 2009, minimalist running has gained popularity in the running community. This running style has been thought to be more natural and to result in fewer injuries.

The basic theory of minimalist running is that when a runner is barefoot, he or she naturally avoids heel strike at impact and transitions instead to a midfoot or forefoot strike point. The simple movement of bodyweight at impact from the heel to the front parts of the foot is thought to make running more efficient and less injurious.

Minimalist (Barefoot) Running Shoes

the theory behind their design

Minimalist running uses shoes but they are different than the usual running shoe. Traditional running shoes (on the market since the 1970s) have a high heel offset of at least 8-degrees and often up to 12-degrees or more. This puts the heel higher than the forefoot. The traditional running shoe is designed that way to allow for more cushioning with a heel strike impact, and the way that it is designed appears to encourage heel striking. Traditional running shoes are less flexible, have stiffer heel counters and more arch support than minimalist shoes.

Minimalist shoes have lower offsets. Often, the heel to toe offset is 4–degrees or less.

Zero drop shoes have a heel that is at the same level as the forefoot. In addition, these shoes are usually lighter and more flexible than traditional running shoes. Some zero-drop and minimalist brands do offer various cushioning levels, but none approach the amount of cushioning found in a traditional running shoe. This may seem like a bad thing, but this lack of cushioning is intentional.

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The theory of a minimalist shoe is that the shoe should bring us as close to natural running (barefoot) as possible.

At Well Theory, we believe that working with the body, and not against it, is often the best way to heal yourself – body, mind, and spirit. Our products, resources, and more are all designed to holistically support you through your wellness journey, so you are in complete control of your overall well-being.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Meredith Warner is the creator of Well Theory and The Healing Sole. She is a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Air Force Veteran.

She is on a mission to disrupt traditional medicine practices and promote betterment physically, spiritually and mentally to many more people. She advocates for wellness and functional health over big pharma so more people can age vibrantly with more function and less pain.

At Well Theory, Our surgeon-designed products are FDA Registered and formulated to help people:

  • Manage the symptoms of musculoskeletal pain
  • Recover vibrantly from orthopedic related surgeries
  • Fill the gaps in our daily diets
  • Manage pain associated with inflammation

Surgeon Formulated
For Your Peace of Mind

Natural Ingredients + Cutting-Edge Medical Breakthroughs.

100% NATURAL PAIN RELIEF FOR PEOPLE WORLDWIDE

4 Reasons You Get Knee Pain While Running

4 Reasons You Get Knee Pain While Running

4 Reasons You Get Knee Pain While Running

It’s well known that running can be great for your health, helping people lose weight and get in shape, all while letting us enjoy the outdoors as we do it. Unfortunately, running can also be hard on your body and result in knee pain, especially if you’re not careful about the shoes you wear or the way you run.

While there are a variety of issues like plantar fasciitis that affect runners, knee pain and knee injuries are an all too common problem for many runners. The more often that this knee pain happens, the less likely a runner will be to continue running for fear of further injury and damage to their knee.

Your knees play a crucial role while running, and as a result are placed under a great deal of stress as your body weight impacts your knees during your run.

 

The following are the most common reasons why runners experience knee pain before, during or after their run:

Most Common Running Injuries

and what causes them

1. Knee Cap Pain or “Runner’s Knee”

The most commonly referred knee pain runners experience is dubbed, of course, runner’s knee. Runners knee in most cases feels like pain or aching directly underneath the kneecap while running. Runner’s knee, or patellofemoral knee syndrome, occurs at the patellofemoral (or kneecap joint) where it joins with the femur.

2. Meniscus and Cartilage Tears

One of the other more common causes of knee pain in general is the result of cartilage damage or tears that occur over time. While not always common in runners, cartilage damage and injuries are a growing source of pain for many runners.

These tears can result from slipping, falling or even age-related injuries in runners as the cartilage degenerates over time, and with the repeated impact of running can become worse. In many cases where a meniscus tear or cartilage damage has occurred, common symptoms include both pain and swelling in the knee joint.

3. Illiotibial Band Inflammation (IT Band)

The illiotibial band is a connective tissue on that runs from the outer hip and attaches below the knee. In general, this type of injury occurs as the result of overuse from the repetitive action of running.

IT band pain most commonly occurs after you’ve been running for a certain period of time or over long distances, and generally consists of pain on the outer side of the knee. Like plantar fasciitis, symptoms of IT band issues may occur as you’re running and subside when you’ve finished, only to reappear when you begin activity again.

4. Tendinitis (Patellar Tendinopathy)

The patellar tendon is a band of tissue that connects the kneecap to the lower leg and is a common cause of pain and injury in runners. Like IT band issues, it occurs from overuse (or repeat use) from the repetitive motions of running.

Patellar Tendinopathy is referred to by many names in various situations, including tendonitis, but is characterized by pain in the front of the knee. It can often be confused with or in conjunction with kneecap pain, but the source of the injury may be different. PT related pain is usually associated with excess strain and repeat use, and pain may get worse over time, especially while running.

Not sure if your knee pain is caused by your running routine? Read our blog on common causes of knee pain to find out what may be causing your discomfort!

For convenient and natural pain relief after running, look no further than our Pain Relieving Cream and Spray! Our products are designed to be gentle yet powerfully effective for reducing musculoskeletal inflammation.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Meredith Warner is the creator of Well Theory and The Healing Sole. She is a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Air Force Veteran.

She is on a mission to disrupt traditional medicine practices and promote betterment physically, spiritually and mentally to many more people. She advocates for wellness and functional health over big pharma so more people can age vibrantly with more function and less pain.

At Well Theory, Our surgeon-designed products are FDA Registered and formulated to help people:

  • Manage the symptoms of musculoskeletal pain
  • Recover vibrantly from orthopedic related surgeries
  • Fill the gaps in our daily diets
  • Manage pain associated with inflammation

Surgeon Formulated
For Your Peace of Mind

Natural Ingredients + Cutting-Edge Medical Breakthroughs.

100% NATURAL PAIN RELIEF FOR PEOPLE WORLDWIDE