This morning I spoke at the DFW Sports Medicine Symposium in Arlington, TX. What a great crowd! Over 300 physical therapists, athletic trainers, and sports medicine physicians from all over Texas gathered to discuss advances in the medicine of sports.
I spoke on running injuries and more specifically the need for a complete biomechanical exam to not only diagnoses, but to guide your treatment plans. This way the runner can return to running in much better shape than they walked into your office. I feel it is a missing link in a lot of offices due to the time involved. Dynamic gait analysis can actually help the clinician diagnose the root cause of an injury instead of just treating the symptoms. This will decrease the chance of a repetitive injury.
I also talked about the current barefoot running phenomenon and the fact that the average runner will most likely not benefit from barefoot running due to poor biomechanics and muscle imbalances. There is much more of a chance that they will actually hurt themselves. Those runners with fairly good biomechanics and patience can benefit from some barefoot running in a controlled environment. Lots and lots of questions still exist and more biomechanics research needs to be done in this arena.
The need for functional foot orthotics was also discussed. No! Every runner does not need orthotics, but almost 80% need some kind of biomechanical help. Most can be accommodated with shoes, stretching and strengthening programs. You would be amazed how much impact a core strengthening program can have on your running biomechanics. Recurrent, nagging injuries often require orthotic control to alleviate recalcitrant pain.
The last thing I discussed was the need for a gradual return to sport so there will be no more of the too much, too soon, too fast phenomenon that plagues so many runners!
A great question and answer session followed. I gave away a few copies of my book, If Your Running Feet Could Talk, I think we all learned something this morning. A good time was had by all and all the athletes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and all over the State of Texas will benefit!