Does Your Foot Motion Increase Your Risk of Injury?
Whether you are an experienced runner or a beginning one, it is always wise to prevent injuries. Many shoe companies sell special shoes that are made just for one’s foot pronatation, which has to do with how one’s foot lands and rolls. The belief was that depending on the runner’s pronation, a special shoe could help prevent more running injuries and prevent less back pain. Now studies are showing that this may not be the case.
A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows why pronation doesn’t necessarily lead to injury. The study took 927 beginner runners and followed them for a year. They tracked their injuries, location, and shoe type amongst other things. The result was that those who bought special shoes for their pronation had the same amount of injuries as those who chose their shoes at random. Therefore, the study concluded that shoes and pronation are not important factors in preventing injuries.
As a new runner, this study is good news for you. It means that you don’t have to shell out a lot of extra money for special shoes. However, it is always important to try and avoid injuries while running, so here are a few tips to keep in mind and focus on instead of your pronation:
- Run according to your weight. If you are carrying extra weight, then you probably took up running to shed it. However, the extra weight puts extra stress on your knees and back when you run. This doesn’t mean that you should stop running. It just means that you should combine your running with a nutrition plan to help shed 1-2 pounds a week. Not only will the weight loss benefit your health, but it will prevent more injuries while running. If you are heavier, ease into running and use shock absorbent shoes to help.
- Take it easy. Know your limits and don’t push yourself too hard. The number one mistake runners, new and seasoned, make is that they overdo their run. When your body is screaming stop, there is probably a good reason for it. There is no shame in taking your workout intensity down a few notches when you feel like you are having an off day. If you are just getting into running, develop a schedule so that you gradually increase your duration over the time span of a few months.
- Pamper your muscles afterwards. Running can be hard on the body, so be sure to give your muscles some much needed TLC afterwards. Be sure to stretch thoroughly and use a combination of ice and heat therapy for any sore muscles. Also, drink a lot of water and drink cherry juice to help aid workout recovery.
So next time you are in the market to buy new running shoes, avoid the temptation of specialized shoes made just for your pronation. Instead, pick a pair that feels comfortable and allows you to move with ease. Also, a good pair of shock absorbing socks and shoes can help greatly.
Remember to always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician before taking any medical or diet advice.