Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Should I Wear Running Shoes?

Wait, I thought running shoes were bad for me

Over the past few years you may have heard many proponents of barefoot running arguing that today's running shoes are 'overkill' and compromise our natural running mechanics.  A new study now shows us that under certain circumstances, running shoes may actually decrease the energy cost when compared to going barefoot.

In a recent study conducted at the University of Colorado at Boulder researchers wanted to find if wearing running shoes required more energy than going barefoot. The researchers recruited 12 well-trained barefoot runners. Choosing well-trained barefoot runners was important since novice barefoot runners have a much different running pattern when compared to the veteran.

Many believe that running with shoes increases energy demands during running since they add weight to your feet and you have to push that weight through space every step.

Researchers in this study had runners wear a relatively lightweight (~100 grams)cushioned shoe versus not wearing shoes at all. The participants in the study ran multiple times on treadmills while either wearing the shoes or running barefoot.  The runners also were tested with 100 gram weights to the top of the runners bare foot.  By adding equal amounts of weight to the barefoot runner's foot, effectively taking weight of the shoe out of the equation, they could learn if barefoot running really was physiologically more efficient than wearing shoes.

The researchers found that during barefoot running, runners used almost 4% more energy during every step when compared to those who were in shoes.

It is important to note that the study looked at only metabolic efficiency of wearing shoes when compared to running barefoot. The study did not take into account the common claims that barefoot running lowers injury risk.  Researchers did agree that wearing heavy shoes increases the metabolic cost of running and so those trying to decrease the metabolic cost of running should look for more lightweight models of shoes.  The research still supports the use of running shoes to improve running efficiency.

Ref: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/21/making-the-case-for-running-shoes/?src=tp

Monday, July 23, 2012

What is the BMS?

The Biomechanical Scan (BMS)TM is a head to toe micro-mobility (arthrokinematic) assessment of the 3 primary loco-motor systems of the body: Nervous, Muscular, and Skeletal.  The scan is used to screen for serious pathology and identify faults in one’s flexibility, joint passive range of motion, motor patterns, strength, core stability, and proprioception; all of which have been cited as risk factors that can contribute to injury.  Over the past 10 years, tremendous research has been performed as to why certain injuries occur, particularly the non-contact ACL knee injury.  By diagnosing limited joint loading or faulty movement patterns, a skilled physical therapist is able to explain how these deficits can influence task execution and the relative risk of injury.  Research has shown implementation of the proper intervention addressing risk factors has reduced the incidence and risk of injury.  The BMSTM is currently being used by the physical therapists (PT) at Hayashida and Associates as a proactive versus re-active intervention to guide athletic performance for many athletes from age-grade athletics to the Olympic athlete. If you know of an organization, business, or team that could benefit from preventative screening contact your local physical therapist at Hayashida & Associates Physical Therapy.

Written By: Riley O'Hagan, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS

HAPT Hosts World Renowned Dr. Powers

Hayashida and Associates Physical Therapy (HAPT) recently hosted world renowned Dr. Chris Powers, PT, PhD, FACSM, FAPTA for a one day course that was individually designed for HAPT to enhance the clinician’s clinical reasoning regarding proximal factors as they relate to patients and clients with knee pain.  The course focused on development of clinical reasoning regarding return to running in those patients with knee pain as well as patients status-post ACL reconstruction. During lab, the physical therapists at HAPT demonstrated and practiced selected physical examination procedures and interventions that will reduce that patient’s risk of reinjury and improve their return to sport.  HAPT regularly hosts courses throughout the year to make sure that their physical therapists continue to provide the region’s highest level of clinical care and expertise. Physical therapists from surrounding areas are also invited, as it is our mission to better the physical therapy profession as a whole.

Written By: Andrew Bisaccia, PT, DPT, OCS

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Should You Have An MRI for Back Pain?

"The over utilization of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in low back pain is well established and numerous guidelines have been developed to educate clinicians on when appropriate imaging is warranted.  Unfortunately MRIs for acute low back pain continue to be one of the most over utilized imaging modalities.  This is driven not just by the provider side but also by patient expectation and desires to "do something."  I believe one of the most important roles of a physical therapist is to educate patients by managing expectations and reframing their belief system on what pictures tell us.  I frequently use the phrase "that is just a wrinkle on the inside" when discussing the common MRI findings that are not consistent with a patient's presentation.  As you know wrinkles do not hurt but are outward signs of aging, we also have inward signs of aging (normal age related changes) that show as disk bulges, herniations, spondylosis, etc." - Tim Flynn, PT, PhD.   

If you have low back pain and you think you need an MRI to "know what is wrong" or "find the best treatment" you may be wrong.  Please watch this Video and pass it on!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Change Your Running Style!

Recently researchers from the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at the University of Copenhagen conducted a research project that shows that small changes in your running routine can improve your "running performance and health, despite a significant reduction in the total amount of training."1
The research project, which was eventually published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, took two groups of moderately trained runners.  In one experimental group the runners trained in a 10-20-30 concept.  This consisted of a 1 km warm up at low intensity followed by short 5 minute blocks that were separated into 10, 20, and 30 seconds of running at maximal, moderate and low intensity, respectively.    The other group ran at a moderate pace for more than 45 minutes.  Over a short period of 7 weeks  runners in the '10-20-30' group "were able to improve performance on a 1500 meter run by 23 seconds and almost a minute on a 5 km run."1  Interestingly those in this experimental group also had decreased cholesterol levels and lowered blood pressure, both predictors of heart disease.  These changes were compounded by the fact that all the runners in the study were seasoned veterans, running on a regular basis for years. 

The interesting point in the research, especially for the working class who seem to be more and more crunched for time, was that a 20-30 minute workout was all that was needed to see the beneficial changes.  So go out there and change your running routine to one that mimics a high intensity interval training (HIIT) type of running; it could make you healthier and shave time off your runs if you are training for an event.

Be sure to contact your local physical therapist if you have any questions or concerns regarding entering a new exercise program or changing your existing one.