Running has become a popular practice for people of all ages. Sports shops are all the rage with their extensive selection of running shoes and clothing. Some of them also offer running clinics for those who want to follow a training plan to run their first 5k, 10k, half-marathon or marathon race. Indeed, running is an easily accessible sport. Wherever we are, we put on our sneakers and presto, our strides get us where we want to go ... provided our feet and body allow it!


In parallel with this trend, however, there is an increase in sports injuries that lead several runners to consult us in our podiatric clinics. Is it the type of foot that is the problem, the intensity and volume of training ... or the technique? It goes without saying that an increase in intensity and volume that is too abrupt can disrupt the musculoskeletal system and cause the runner to develop common chronic type injuries such as periostitis, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, syndrome. the iliotibial band, to name a few.

As we frequently observe in our practices, faulty biomechanics can also be directly linked to an increased risk of injury since when running, the feet receive five to eight times the weight of our body in each stride. The runner who hyperpronates is at greater risk for muscle overuse injuries, plantar fasciitis types, posterior tibial tendonitis, periostitis and inflammation of the iliotibial band. Lumbar stiffness can also be noted in long distance runners who have sagging arches and even in those with hollow and stiff feet.

The trend towards minimalist running has grown so popular in recent years that running stores have seen their running shoe inventory shift to neutral shoe types, with less cushion and heel elevation. On the other hand, you have to be careful; adopting a good technique means repositioning the body in order to reduce heel attack with each step, and that is quite a learning process! Since these shoes do not offer protection at the heels, make sure to limit the time spent on the ground during each stride in order to reduce the impact stress on the heels.

The transition can be long, but it goes without saying that by adopting good running technique, the driving motor boss will become more efficient in order to run more economically, with less stress on the muscles and joints.


In our practice, in order to properly guide runners of different levels, we have installed the Contemplas race analysis system. Using a treadmill and cameras, the runner is analyzed from different perspectives: first barefoot, then with running shoes, with or without orthotics. We observe the attack of the foot during each stride as well as the repercussion towards the joints of the lower and upper limbs.

Prior to the stroke analysis, a biomechanical examination is completed to verify the alignment of the lower limbs as well as the patient's overall posture, both static and walking. During this examination, a series of measurements are taken to verify whether the foot is in a neutral position, in pronation or supination. We also check the rotations available at the level of the hips, the presence or not of a structural shortening, the alignment of the knees, the available movement of the joints of the foot, but especially that of the hallux! The presence of a hallux limitus can be responsible for a significant deviation of the race pattern during attack and propulsion.

In addition, run analysis can be used to guide the runner towards better running technique, such as increasing cadence, which decreases ground time and improves dynamic posture while running. Developing an effective dynamic posture while running does not happen overnight. On the other hand, by making sure that at the base the feet are stable and that the posture is adequate, all that remains is the practice of running to perfect everything.

With that, good race!

Dr Annie Jean, Podiatrist

Text source: Le Patient Magazine, Vol 9, n0 4, pages 38 and 39