Blog Archives

IT Band and Patellofemoral Syndrome: how did your knee pain turn into a ‘syndrome’?

Jogging
photo: Ed Yourdon

Over the years, the medical community has created a need to give everything that can go wrong in your body a name; e.g. lateral epicondylitis (‘tennis elbow’),  patellar tendonitis (‘jumpers knee’).  A lot of the pain related conditions were defaulted to something ending in ‘itis’ implying an inflammation of a particular tendon or bursa, but these diagnoses only really apply to people in the acute phase of pain or injury.  Quite often people continue to experience pain or dysfunction for months in the complete absence of swelling or inflammation.  Labeling a five month old elbow or knee problem a tendonitis is just not accurate or helpful to the person in pain.  The solution became to call them a tendonosis which acknowledges the tendon is not actively inflamed, but there is ‘disorder in the tendon.’

People tend to seek a diagnosis, but what they are really after is an explanation of why.  When it comes to persistent pain, a diagnosis just gives you something to tell your family or employer ‘what you have,’ but typically does very little to help you get rid of it and can even hinder your progress.  Most persistent pains in your body develop from a combination of mechanical, cognitive and emotional reasons and where it actually hurts is just the symptom at the end of a chain of events.  Unfortunately most doctors’ knowledge level on musculoskeletal pain is limited to the area where it hurts and not the chain of events that made it hurt.

I try my best to not tell you ‘what you have’, but instead explain to you ‘what is going on.’  It is usually way more information than you were anticipating, but makes all the difference when it comes time to convince you that you may have to change some of your habits. 

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Posted in Blog, Feet, Hips, Knees, Pain Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
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Barefoot Running vs Barefoot Lifestyle: a fad leading to a revolution

Barefoot running has got a lot of press since Christopher McDougall released his book Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Super Athletes and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen.

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(click the above picture for details)
A great book and amazing story that is worth the read even if you’re not a runner.  This book has lead to a paradigm shift in the running shoe world and is slowly creeping it’s way into the normal shoe world.  If you are not familiar with my stance on shoes, have a look at my articles:
Shoes: Good support or coffins for your feet?
Why Feet Hurt

Movement in general is a set of skills that you acquire through trial, error and practice throughout your life.  Walking and running are fundamental movement skills that we develop from a young age, but the thing that most people don’t understand is that just because you can walk and run, doesn’t mean you are doing it very well.  The most important tools our bodies have, that gives us the unique ability to walk and run upright, is our feet; covering them up with heavy, clunky, confining shoes most of your life will almost guarantee that you walk and run poorly and inevitably develop pain and deformity.

Although I think the barefoot running movement is great, what really needs to happen is a barefoot lifestyle movement.  You need to walk before you can run and stand before you can walk.  What you choose to put on your feet will affect all three of these skills.  You spend far more time in a day standing and walking than you do running so the best cross training you can do for running is to keep your feet active and in tune with the ground when ever you are vertical. 

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Posted in Blog, Feet, Shoes Tagged with: , , , , , ,
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