At TFC Podiatry, we see people with painful lower limb injuries each and every day. Our goal as a Podiatrist is to help manage or heal these injuries. Almost every patient we see has a goal related to their foot pain. These goals can be walking pain free on an upcoming ovrseas holiday, or training for your next marathon. Of course, most of our patients have a reason they want to get rid of their pain! In the initial phase of treating a painful injury we often see people who are managing their load poorly. Some people will pull back from excercise too much and some people won’t rest enough.
When it comes to managing load, as Podiatrists we often use a variety of tools to get rid of load on a tissue. One of these tools that we use is footwear. Using different types of shoes for different circumstances can help manage these loads in the injured patient. If we look at the example of runners, most runners use one pair of shoes for all of their training. Often these runners are chosen as they “feel fast” or they are “comfortable”. When it comes to choosing running shoes, different shoes load different tissues.
Most people training for a run vary their runs in distance and speed. In the majority of runners, these work outs would benefit from shoes that compliment these runs. For example, when we are doing a fast run, we want to wear a shoe that feels fast is lightweight and sometimes even a shoe that might ecourage a forefoot striking pattern. When we are doing a longer run where we want to control our pace, it can be useful to wear a shoe that will compliment this kind of pace.
Footwear can be a great tool for managing load in runners. When advising someone on footwear it is important to complete a thorough assessment and history taking. taking into account previous injruies as well as future goals will help guide how much you should pull back from activity to get the best rehab plan moving forward.