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Is Changing Your Running Shoes Really The Answer To Help Ease Your Pain When Running?

 

Picking a new pair of running shoes can be very exciting, the shoes you envisage yourself completing that marathon in record time in, a recommendation from a friend that you’re keen to try out, an upgrade from your starter pair now you’re starting to take running more seriously or if you’re a seasoned runner just needing or wanting a new set of wheels to rack the miles up!

 

My advice for running shoes is to always wear them in gradually (unless you’re going with a brand tried and tested). Even if you are a seasoned pro who has been running for years on end you will have to take a little dip in your training to accommodate your new shoes and the effect it has on your running technique.

 

Choosing the ‘correct’ running shoe to suit your style of running is a hugely debated topic. When getting measured in the shop they’ll often bang on about pronation and how bad pronation is when running and that you are a pronator, but did you know that we actually need to pronate to be able to run?? Pronation dissipates the forces between the limb and the ground, the issue becomes when we over-pronate!

 

Anti-Pronation Trainers – Worth The Spend?

 

Sure, a pair of anti-pronation running shoes will help you if you’re over pronating but the over-pronation is usually the culprit and not the criminal! If we just focus now on the over pronation aspect and we force a correction through changing our running shoes, it could have a knock on effect and lead you to morning a current injury or even worse cause a new injury or problem.

 

You could find your ITB band becomes tighter than usual, or you’re feeling particularly tight in your calves or hips post runs. The point I’m trying to make is your body is a big chain of movement and altering one part can affect other areas especially during high mileage, impact sports such as running.

 

So, what causes over pronation in the first place? One of the causes of over-pronation is a lack of gluteal (buttock) strength or correct activation, as the glutes stop the knee from dropping in when accepting bodyweight through the limb, if the knee drops in then the shin bone and foot will follow. Do you see the picture I’m trying to paint?

 

If we correct what’s happening at the pelvis, then the lower limb works a lot more efficiently and in correct alignment meaning the topic of pronation/supination can be put to bed as we take control from the shops spinning you a line to get a sale.

 

As a runner myself I’ve found that most running shops will only film you from the knee down to try and prove a point about your pronation and sell you a £150-£200 pair of trainers you don’t need as ultimately, it’s a sales business.  We need to get out the mind-set of correcting pronation alone and start correcting our movement patterns. Our movement patterns will translate to, and improve our running styles.

 

So What’s The Best Way To Get To The Root Cause Of Your Running Injuries?

 

This might sound obvious but to fully understand the faults in our movement patterns an expert will need to examine you from head to toe, from the back and from the side whilst running (how will you know what needs to be improved if you don’t get analysed during the same activity you want to improve?). So, ask yourself, has anyone ever looked at how you run and move? If the answer is “no” then before you put your hand in your pocket for those shiny new anti-pronation running shoes consider getting an expert running analysis.

 

I’ve seen hundreds of adverts on eBay, Facebook and other such places of runners selling those impulse purchases of running shoes, as they bought in excitement that “these trainers are going to cure my knee pain!” only to have their hopes dashed when the “knee pain” doesn’t leave them.

 

Allow me to give you a case scenario of how changing the way someone runs helps cure hip and knee pain: Here’s a club runner that we worked with who came to see us due to knee pain. The pictures below are stills of videos that were taken just 6 weeks apart. The first is on day one.

 

I’ve added orange lines on the clips to highlight the pelvis level. Look at the pronation of the left foot (the foot is dropping in towards the middle) in this first clip. Notice that although the left foot is pronating the right hip has dropped when accepting body weight on the left leg indicating the Glutes aren’t working properly on the left side. Do you run like this? or know someone who does?  This kind of running technique will at some point lead you down the road to injury and body break downs.

 

 

 

Here’s where it gets interesting. Over the course of The Running School programme we focused on Glute activation amongst other things and notice the differences! Now you can see as the load is being accepted the pelvis is staying supported and look what’s happened to the foot; No pronation… WEARING THE SAME SHOES!!!

 

 

So, my take home message to you all is, if you’re serious about getting to the root cause of why you’re running times aren’t progressing to where you want them to be, or your training is being limited by niggles or injury then come and see one of our specialist Running Coaches at The Running School Southend to help you get that knee, hip or ankle/foot pain sorted once and for all.

 

We will help you get you to the next level and get there whilst moving better, feeling better and staying injury free and not needing to spend hundreds to thousands of ££££s trying an array of different trainers!

 

Happy Running! [ebs_icon type=”fa-smile-o” icontype=”fa”]

Aaron Whittaker – Specialist Running Therapist at WDC Physio[ebs_separator style=”separator-thin”][/ebs_separator]
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About Aaron Whittaker

Aaron is one of our top therapists here at WDC Physio and is a keen runner himself. Aaron is currently training for the Manchester Marathon on 8th April 2018.

Aaron is 6 weeks in to his own training and up to 13.1 miles. He was particularly pleased with his last run as got a new half marathon PB so he is happy with his progress so far this year.

Choose Aaron to help you get to the bottom of your running injuries and you know you you will be in good hands.

 

If you are new to running or you a seasoned competitor aiming for a personal best and want some more tips on coping with sporting injuries, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and keeping free from painkillers and sports supports get your free copy of our sports injury guide: http://www.wdcphysio.wpenginepowered.com/physiotherapy/free-guide-for-injured-athletes/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Wendy McCloud

Wendy is the founder of The South East’s Leading Specialist Private Physiotherapy Practice for People in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, who want to keep healthy and active.

Wendy’s background includes working as an Extended Scope Practitioner Physiotherapist working as part of Mr. Ali Al-Sabti’s Orthopaedic Consultant’s team specialising in Shoulder Pain.

Wendy has treated royalty for Shoulder pain through referrals from her close links with a top Orthopaedic Shoulder Surgeons. More recently Wendy has been the sole choice physiotherapist for all Essex based referrals from London Shoulder surgeon Mr. Matthew Sala.

Wendy worked in National Level Rugby Union for 11 years, working with players who achieved county honours and representative honours for various countries such as England, Samoa, Australia and New Zealand. Wendy resigned from her position as Head Physiotherapist at Southend RFC in June 2011 to open WDC which has become the fastest growing clinic in the South East of England.

WDC is now a large multi-therapist speciality practice in Southend-on-Sea, Essex.

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Wendy

Wendy

Wendy founded WDC in September 2006. She has worked in both the public and private sectors. Within the NHS, Wendy worked as a Senior Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist and an Extended Scope Practitioner Physiotherapist as part of an Orthopaedic Consultant’s team specialising in Shoulder Pain. Wendy has treated royalty for Shoulder pain through referrals from her close links with a top Orthopaedic Shoulder Surgeon. More recently, Wendy has been the sole choice physiotherapist for all Essex-based referrals from London Shoulder surgeon Mr Matthew Sala. Wendy also worked within the national rugby union as the head physiotherapist for Southend Rugby Football Club. She led the medical service at the club for 11 years, working with players who achieved county honours and representative honours for various countries such as England, Samoa, Australia, and New Zealand.
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