Our feet are pretty important even though we may take for granted how much they do for us every day. For example, did you know, a person has over 25% of the bones in their body right down in his or her feet? Being in the business of feet, we have researched the best options in an orthotic that will compliment shoes and bring comfort, balance, stability, and increased performance and endurance to people's feet. So how do Formthotics foot orthotics, stand apart from other brands? The differences between all of these foot othotics is amazing - and a bit overwhelming if you are just beginning to look into what is right for your feet.
As we age, sometimes mobility decreases due several reasons. Falling down can happen to the best of us and might just seem like and embarrassing inconvenience. However, injuries directly resulting from a fall in the elderly are the leading cause of hospitalisation and one of the top three causes of injury-related death (NZ ACC 2012). One in three people aged 65 and over are falling each year. How can we delay this from happening, gain more control and stability in our feet, and prevent falls?
At least once a week, a patient tells me a story about their bad knees and how it must have been due to all the running they used to do. This is while they are lying on their hospital bed, waiting for their knee replacement later that day.
In Australia, osteoarthritis affects one in five people, and that increases to one in two people over the age of 65 (Australian Bureau of Statistics). In 2016, 60,211 knee replacement surgeries were performed in Australia (National Joint Replacement Registry). That’s almost double the number of surgeries that happened in 2006 and every year it is rising.
So, as a 30 something-year-old who runs three times a week, should I be concerned that I am damaging my knees? Is running bad for your knees?
We already know that running has numerous benefits. It can help you lose weight, lower cholesterol levels, boost your immune system, fight depression, reduce stress and increase your overall mood. But for years the debate has been argued on whether or not running is bad for your knees.
Recent research has come back in favour of the constant ‘pounding of the pavement’. Running, when compared to a sedentary lifestyle, can actually help reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis at a later age.
So, are you saying that running may actually bullet-proof my knees, rather than damage them with osteoarthritis?
Not everyone who runs is destined to get osteoarthritis. There are a myriad of confounding factors that may lead to this debilitating condition.
Let’s start with a bit of anatomy.
The knees sure do take a lot of pressure when running. Anywhere between five and twelve times your body weight in fact!
Your hip is made up of a nice ball and socket, your ankle is made up of a complex system of joints which help to dissipate forces throughout the foot, but the knees take the brunt right through its surfaces (no wonder that there is a common running injury called “runner’s knee”).
The femoral condyles (the end of the long bone in your thigh – the femur) are nicely rounded, and sit on top of the tibial plateau (the bigger of the two bones in your shin – the tibia) which is a flat surface.
At the end of each bone is a hard shiny surface of cartilage, which can wear down over time. Now, we add the shock absorption properties of the meniscus and you have a fairly standard knee unit – for simplicity, we will leave out a few other structures such as the patella and ligaments.
So, what happens when the shock absorption properties fail over time? Think of your car when its suspension springs get rusty. There are increased forces through your bony surfaces, and those hard shiny layers of cartilage start to wear thin – this is when osteoarthritis starts to kick you in the
Wouldn’t it be best to limit all forces through your joints so you don’t even give them a chance to develop osteoarthritis?
In short, no!
Lifestyle factors play a huge part in whether or not someone will develop osteoarthritis, and it seems that a sedentary lifestyle will have a similar prevalence of osteoarthritis than someone who runs 90 km a week!
What does the research say?
This systematic review and meta-analysis – a very strong research design – looked to compare three groups of people.
The competitive and high volume runner – professional athletes and people who compete internationally or run more than 92 kilometers per week.
Non-runner, or controls – those sedentary people we mentioned above.
They found that, out of over 114,000 people, the prevalence of developing osteoarthritis in the competitive runner was 13.3%, the non-runner was 10.2%, and the recreational runner just 3.5%!
What does this mean for you?
The benefits of exercise are numerous, and recreational runners have less chance of developing osteoarthritis compared to competitive athletes and sedentary people. According to the research, this is true for both males and females. There seems to be a sweet spot where doing too little and too much can put great strain on your joints, so get out there and get moving!
With the above research, it is hard to include injuries, so if you are carrying one, get on top of it before pushing things to breaking point!
Take Home Point.
Casual runners (who run less than 92kms a week) are less likely to develop osteoarthritis than a person with a sedentary lifestyle.
It is proven that people who are overweight are two times more likely to develop osteoarthritis and people who are obese are four times more likely to develop osteoarthritis. It is generally believed that injuries increase your chance of osteoarthritis, so if running is causing knee pain or injuries, make sure you see a good physiotherapist to assist you with your running.
Another proven way to lower your chances of developing osteoarthritis is to increase your muscle strength, so ensure you’re adding some resistance training into your sessions.
We use Formthotics™ in our shoes – an orthotic which gives you stability from the ground up and helps to support your running. Formthotics help align the body from the ground up, assisting with shock absorption and relief of pressure points with a more even distribution of weight across the foot surface, which is particularly important on hard surfaces. With Formthotics, your foot is supported in a natural posture, reducing fatigue, improving stability and function.
That is fine, we are not trying to convert people into being runners, we are just highlighting some of the research, which says that running is not as bad for your joints as it is presumed!
If you are still unsure, try biking or swimming – the cardiovascular effort is great and being relatively non-weight bearing exercises, you won’t have any trouble with your achy knees after those!
If worse comes to worse, and you do need a knee replacement when you are 70, perhaps we will find hope in this inspirational story from Roger Robertson – a 71-year-old runner who continued running after a total knee replacement.
*Please note that this content is not personal medical advice and is intended for general education purposes only. Consult with your doctor, physiotherapist or surgeon before starting a running plan if you are worried about arthritis.
Follow our Team Ambassadors, Jeremy and Joanna Duggan - Physiotherapists from Australia who also have a passion to travel the world and make adventure happen with major events - like climbing to the basecamp of Mt. Everest and running a marathon in Antartica and so much more! You can follow their blog here: Coming Home Strong
The first time I ran a half marathon was in 2015 when my husband convinced me to join him with his upbeat attitude and his ability to sell ice to Eskimos chat about how amazing running a half marathon is. It was the Melbourne Marathon that ended inside the M.C.G. and I was pumped!
Jeremy and Joanna Duggan, Australian Physiotherapists
Did you know that Foot Science International, the creators of Formthotics, is offering three more intensive one-day medical training courses, Entering the FootZone that we provide in New Zealand for medical professionals who are interested in increasing their knowledge of the foot and lower limb, and good treatment options? Make sure to click on the links below to sign up for one of the three dates offered in August, September, and October.
Simply put, Entering the FootZone provides the essential link between the biomechanical models and patient assessment stages of the process and the all-important prescription stage. A lot of training courses end at the evaluation stage, and you aren’t given the tools to make accurate prescriptions. Entering the Foot Zone aims to create a seamless process from Theory - Assessment - Prescription - Fitting - Review - Evaluation of Results.
Course trainer, Richard van Plateringen begins the hands-on training assesment
2017 COURSE DATES (sign up on Eventbrite by clicking city):
Time: 8:30am to 5:30pm Cost: $199.00 - $219.00
- Entering the FootZone Formthotics Training - Sat. 19th August - Auckland, NZ
- Entering the FootZone Formthotics Training - Mon. 18th September - Queenstown, NZ
- Entering the FootZone Formthotics Training -Fri 6th October, Palmerston North, NZ
This course can act as a refresher for podiatrists or a special interest course for other medical professionals including physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors, sports medicine practitioners and orthotists who are interested in the FootZone. Learn new clinical methods with the revised "6 Tests, 6 Steps" a patient centric process of assessment, selection and fitting of Formthotics. Learn when it is best to refer to a podiatrist and what you can help assess.
The goal is to walk away from the course being able to confidently asses your patient's foot and lower limb function and pathology. Rationalise and justify patient treatment with the biomechanics of the feet, including the appropriate prescription of Formthotics orthotics. The course is taught by Sports Podiatrist, Richard Van Plateringen from Dunedin and will include lunch and morning and afternoon tea plus a 5 pair pack of Formthotics and orthotic additions for you to use during the training course and in your practice.
Formthotics also has training courses that are offered in other parts of the world. Check out our event page.
- Learn how to confidently diagnose, assess and treat your patients' foot conditions
quickly and accurately
- Improve your knowledge of foot function and lower limb biomechanics
- Learn how to incorporate orthotic therapy into your treatment regimes
- Learn when to refer
If you are interested in our many trainings we are providing in New Zealand, or would like to schedule a specific training for your office, please contact email@example.com
You may be considering supplying Formthotics orthotics in your medical practice, but have medical staff who are unfamiliar with the benefits of these orthotics and how they can actually help each patient's feet with comfort, balance, and alignment. A brief training on how to easily shape to a patient's foot and how to determine if additions are necessary to be fitted for the biomechanical alignment of your patient's feet could be a great solution to help your medical staff know how and when to prescribe Formthotics.
The foot is a very complex structure which is exposed to significant forces during day to day activities. Foot pain is a common problem and when present is known to adversely affect every day activities. Whether caused by a specific incident or developed over time left untreated, foot pain can really slow you down.