Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ground Contact Time and Foot Pain

Every winter in Michigan I see runners that develop foot problems that have never experienced foot problems before.  I used to just think perhaps they were sliding in the shoes a bit or were afraid to fall so they were tense the whole time.  My new theory, just a theory, is that their ground contact time is slightly increasing with each step and because of that we get longer use out of the smaller foot muscles.

If we have (x) longer ground contact time and we take (x) many steps per step.  We are asking the foot muscles and connective tissue to contract for (x)X(x) more time.  Given enough steps
and it's a plausible reason on why the foot muscles/joints/connective tissue get sore and painful.

A few big players that will increase ground contact time are the knee extensors and the hip abductors.  If either of these muscles carries more tension then they should the knee angle on contact can increase and thus we will have more ground contact time.

So if a runner presents with any type of foot pain not only check the foot, but check these groups of muscles to see if you discover dysfunction present.  Not only can it be a source,  it gives the patient an idea of potential why they are feeling the foot to begin with.  Everyone wants answers.

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