Gayle talks about the Vibram Five Fingers

In last night’s post we talked about why Carl needs to be careful about his footwear choices. In tonight’s post Gayle goes into a little more depth on the issue.

“FiveFingers are awesome shoes. What they do for us among other things is offer us a zero heel raise – so a completely neutral foot, and a large amount of foot mobility.

Now generally mobility is a good thing. However there is one specific case where we don’t want mobility – yes you guessed it- fractures. While Carl is a special case here, having had his foot fracture for such a long time we aren’t even sure when he started it, it’s still not a good idea to go running in a maximally mobile shoe, and on the other hand its likely his superior stabiliser strength – that includes his core stability and the muscles around the foot and ankle are likely the reason he has been able to maintain such incredibly high function with a clear fracture such as the one he has!

So I fully agree with Grant here- keep up wearing the shoes and maintaining that strength, and at the same time protect the tarsal bones when running by wearing a more structural shoe to reduce some of the mobility, and add a slight heel lift to change the angle that the ground reaction forces pass through the ankle.

So why shouldn’t Helen get this support when she has such a history of injuries?
Helen needs maximal proprioceptive input. What we are needing to work on with her is getting the sensory nervous system maximally involved in her rehabilitation to facilitate core activation. Helen’s body understands what to do and how to run with better form the more we use proprioception and muscle facilitation techniques, so its a great tool for her.
If she feels like her feet are tiring and overworking, I would rather she does a resistance based program/ or some water based running to give the feet a break than putting her in supportive shoes for a recovery day.

It’s all pretty interesting – different bodies, different needs at different times. This is why we need to assess every body on a case by case basis – if you are not sure what’s best for you, get some professional advice, so that you can make the best use of the hard work you are doing to get fitter and stronger.”
Posted by Gayle – Willis Street Physiotherapy

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