• Sports Podology

    In addition to maintaining ones health, sports nowadays has become major fashion phenomenon. However, whilst it is recommended to stay in shape, lose weight and reduce stress, doing sports exposes the body to intensive and repetitive movements which in the long run often produces muscle and joint disorders (muscles, ligaments, joints).

    It is for this reason that most athletes end up having to consult a podologist. Thus sports podology plays an immense role in properly treating morpho-static disorders, improving specific movements and preventing injuries.

    Feet and sports

    The influence of sports on the feet

    Feet do not naturally adapt to specific sports, whether it be unidirectional (running) or multi-directional (tennis) movements.

    How terrain affects the feet

    The type and quality of terrain practiced on in sports plays an indisputable role in the motion and movement of the feet. Synthetic surfaces, lawns, wooden floors, ice, mud and other surfaces can contribute to unsupported movements of the foot, later causing problems.

    Foot constraints

    Any imbalance of the feet may have repercussions on the athlete, particularly when one goes beyond one’s physical limits. A running race is comprised of 3 phases: propulsion, balance and absorption. During these stages finding natural balance causes an increase of body weight, which is much heavier than when walking. To help the body to adjust to excess weight, several aspects need to be considered: foot absorption which is managed by the plantar pad, but also by the curveture of the foot which helps distribute the weight on the whole foot.

    The knee’s joint configuration and the malleolus bone help distribute physical constraints. If the axis of the hindfoot is normal then physical constraints are perfectly absorbed. On the other hand if the axis of the hindfoot is accentuated in varus or valgus, these constraints become the ground for the the development of numerous ligament and muscular pathologies, which also includes degenerative osteochondral problems.

    Sports shoes

    An athlete’s worst enemy is the “absorption” concept which remains a sales pitch for different companies of the sports industry. Indeed, absorption material does reduce shock waves but it does not absorb the forces of the movements. Absorption material distributes the forces and the number of vibrations improving comfort, although vibrations are essential for the mineralization of the bone. Therefore there will always be standard shock norms to be taken into account

    – high absorption , less shock waves = causes demineralization of the bone

    – excess shock waves, less absorption = tendonitis, fatigue or bone fractures …

    In addition, absorption inevitably leads to instability increasing static disorders, especially if the foot is not properly positioned in the natural axis.

    A shoe must provide the foot with good stability allowing it to play its natural role as a shock absorber, stabilizer and propulser.

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