Barefoot Running – Injury Prevention Program

Benefits of barefoot running, barefoot running shoe options and barefoot running resources

1. Running in shoes promotes a heel strike, which in turn puts lots of stress on the knees and lower back. Check out this link, which provides a nice visual of the negative effects of a strong heel strike.
2. With a heel strike, you have less forward energy (i.e. speed) as the impact of the heel is transferring some of your forward momentum into your knees and hips. This can not occur in barefoot running, because the sheer impact like this after a mile or so you will start correcting to prevent injury and strain in the calf.
3. Running barefoot running promotes ideal biomechanics: shorter strides with a quicker turnover, landing on your forefoot / mid-foot instead of the heel, which I mentioned in the point above.
4. While barefoot running, your feet enjoy a greater range of motion that is more natural.
5. There is indication that running barefoot may decrease the chance of developing common running injuries such as plantar fasciitis, iliotibial band syndrome and shin splints.Of course shoes do serve a useful purpose – to protect the soles of our feet! There are however, some interesting barefoot alternatives in the market today. Even the big players like Nike have been getting into the act.

The schematic above summarizes some of the injuries thought to be associated with wearing running shoes. They include:

 -hamstring injuries   -iliotibial band syndrome    -shin splints     -knee pain    -calf muscle injuries                  – stress fractures      -ankle sprains     -plantar fasciitis         -achilles tendonitis

bloomington il chiropractor, barefoot running

Barefoot running studies

Here is an examle of some of the scientific research on barefoot biomechanics

Michael Warburton – University of Queensland
– running in shoes increase the chance of spraining an ankle
– runners are at increased risk of developing plantar fasciitis when running in shoes
– oxygen is consumed at lower level when running barefoot

British Journal of Sports Medicine – Hazard of deceptive advertising of athletic footwear
– running shoes are associated with frequent injury thought to be caused by repetitive impact.

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