A patient recently sent me this article and said “this is what we’ve been doing!”.
I can’t take all the credit, of course. As they say, ‘to look ahead, you must stand on the shoulders of giants’. Irene Davis and Chris Johnson both have been key in my running research and education. If you’re interested in running or treating runners I highly recommend starting with these two!
ok, so now that the thank you’s are over lets talk briefly about this article!
Basically, researchers found that runners with great technique and appropriate cadence had a lower force when landing. They were all probably mid foot or fore foot strikers right? wrong. In fact, heel striking….wait for it…. is not that bad! (cue dramatic music)
lets break this down as Chris Johnson did, recently…
what if i don’t have full dorsiflexion (the range to pull my foot up towards my knee). To most PTs and running coaches that can be a big problem, i agree. And working towards having more dorsiflexion should definitely be a goal but until then, why not get a shoe with a higher heel/toe offset and maybe increase the runner’s cadence by 10%.. see what happens. if they continue to heel strike, the increase in cadence will decrease the time they spend on the ground and the shoe will help compensate for their lack of range into dorsiflexion.
running is a dynamic activity and treating runners needs to be just as dynamic.
thanks for reading!