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Injuries Reaching Epidemic Proportions: Are Bare Feet to Blame?

Are Bare Feet to Blame for Rise in Injuries?It takes time, data collection and processing to make research numbers come together and have verifiable meaning. Is it too early to say that the recent rise in popularity of barefoot running is resulting in an increase in the number of injuries suffered by runners? No doubt that for every advocate out there who wholeheartedly embraces barefoot or minimalist running, there is another who is in pain and seeking treatment for injuries.

Unsure of where the data may point, some podiatrists are already beginning to report an increase of patients who run sans shoes. Complaints primarily include heel pain, being diagnosed as plantar fasciitis. This can become a very painful condition if left untreated. The increase in reported injuries might only be due to the increase in barefoot runners. In other words, perhaps the numbers are not really disproportionate. As the number of barefoot runners climb, so will the number of injuries.

Defenders of barefoot running claim that if adapted slowly and eased into it, it poses no greater risk of injury. They state the blame for injury can be placed solely with the individual’s unwillingness to train and condition their body to accept the new practice. Gradual adoption and adaptation is the key.

There are those who claim to have relieved all of their foot ailments by kicking off their shoes, claiming that shoes were to blame for their woes. There may be small numbers who can rightfully make this claim, but more runners than not fall into the category of over pronators or supinators who benefit from well-constructed shoes. There seems to be consensus amongst medical professionals that most barefoot runners who are suffering injuries have no business running barefoot in the first place due to what is termed biomechanically disadvantaged feet. What that means is they are not one hundred percent fit in the foot to begin with. For this population, foregoing the shoes was pain just waiting to occur. On the other hand if you have a neutral foot and high arch, many health practitioners will say to give barefoot running a try, each to their own. Just remember to proceed with caution, take it slowly. This does not have to represent an all or nothing endeavor. Begin with one or two short runs incorporated into your weekly schedule.

If you have foot or ankle pain and have been barefoot running, call Dr. Brook at (972) 566-7474 or Dr. Northcutt at (972) 943-3323. Don’t delay treatment as heel and arch pain from plantar fasciitis can become chronic and have a dramatic effect on your active life. Dr. Brook is an expert at treating sports injuries. If you have a story about your barefoot running experience and would like to share it with us, we would love to hear from you.

"I did 3 EPAT treatments and it gave me tremendous relief from my plantar fasciitis. I highly recommend this for anyone who is dealing with PF. Also, the physical therapist Dr. Brook sent me too is fantastic. I am definitely on the mend and so glad I did EPAT."- All H. 5 star
"Dr Northcutt is a fantastic physician. My first surgery with him (although painful), went very well. A couple of issues (with his staff) needed to be corrected, I appreciated his calm and professional demeanor and he corrected those issues promptly. He sets the bar high (the mark of a great physician), and that is the key reason why I'm coming back to him to correct my other foot. I would highly recommend him."- She B. 5 star
"The staff at Dallas Podiatry Works could not have been more courteous, helpful, and professional in doing their job. They made me feel comfortable when I was there, which is certainly appreciated. They answered all the questions that I had and just made each visit the most pleasurable that it could be. I would highly recommend them to anyone needing this type of care."- Joseph B. 5 star
"My experience was a good one from pre-op to post -op. I saw the doctor right before my surgery.He explained the process to me and my husband. The recovery nurse was great. It was neither crowded or chaotic as some day surgery centers. My foot is doing well as I follow instructions. I look forward to my one week progress visit!"- Patricia T.5 star
"I had dealt with a painful foot problem for five months and had seen three different Doctors before seeing an article in D Magazine about Dr. Joel Brook. Dr. Brook took one look at my foot, explained the causes for my pain and set me up on a successful treatment plan. He is very knowledgeable, thorough and exhibits a caring attitude. I highly recommend him."- Ginger W. 5 star
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Join the 50,000 happy feet that have found relief at Dallas Podiatry Works! Our Dallas podiatrist and Plano podiatrist provides 5-star-rated foot care and ankle care. Our advanced foot care includes children's foot care, sports-related foot injuries, bunion treatment, bunion removal surgery, toenail fungus treatment, ingrown toenail treatment, hammertoe treatment, claw toe treatment, neuroma treatment, heel pain relief, limb salvage, wound care, arthritis treatment, safe pedicure, medicures, corn removals, callus removals, wart removals and more.
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