Running Barefoot May Prevent Tibia Break

Running Barefoot May Prevent Tibia Break


Running barefoot with a forefoot strike may
actually give you enough resources to avoid getting a shin bone
fracture as compared with heel strike running in thick cushion heeled running shoes. Researchers have been hard-pressed to explain
the core risk factors for the causes of tibial stress fracture which is a shin bone fracture
in runners. Not all runners are equally vulnerable to
getting a tibial stress fracture in that barefoot runners, runners who mostly land on their
forefoot when they run, may have a reduced risk of getting a shin bone fracture as compared
with habitual shod runners who heel strike during running this is because running barefoot
may block or reduce the bad habits of running and cushion heeled running shoes for instance,
the running shoe induced-mechanisms that may underlie the cause of tibial stress fractures
particularly in heel strike runners are weak and stiff, ankle joints, a higher than tolerable
ground reaction force which is a collision force generated between the body and the ground
at touchdown during running this force is often more intensive in heels strike runners
than in forefoot strike runners as well as weak and stiff plantarflexors — the plantar
flexors are a group of muscles that are integrated throughout the top of the foot and extend
up the leg, however when the ankle plantarflexor muscles are weak, each foot strike during
running may become more and more stressful on the shin bone which may raise the possibility
of the development of a stress fracture on the tibial shaft or the shin bone. And, this is all according to reports in a
2015 study in the journal of Applied Biomechanics which is linked below in the description box. It is also well-established in the research
that many heel strike runners who run in traditional running shoes may display higher levels of
a ground reaction force at touchdown as compared with forefoot runners or barefoot runners. The higher the ground reaction force during
running the greater the abundance of potential stress on the shin bone, however the interplay
between running with a forefoot strike landing pattern while running barefoot may activate
a range of neuromuscular responses and reflexes that may help keep the ground reaction force
at a much lower magnitude. There is also definitive evidence that the
changes in ankle strength and plantarflexor strength is influenced by footwear such that
the way the mechanical traits induced by running and cushion heeled running shoes may manifest
themselves in a way that may increase the susceptibility of the shin bone to become
fractured during running. The problem with weak ankles and weak plantar
flexors during running is that they may prevent the lower leg from adequately absorbing shock
especially the high shock that’s generated during heel strike running and if ankle plantar
flexor strength is lacking there may be lack of cushioning on the shin bone when a runner
runs with a forceful heel strike landing pattern and you may get more impact pressing onto
shin bone. How do the ankles and plant our flexors become
weak in heel strike runners who wear traditional cushioned running shoes. Firstly many heel strike runners don’t really
utilize their plantarflexors as much as forefoot foot runners. Heel strike runners typically use their dorsiflexors
which is another group of muscles within the foot that links up to the lower leg and the
Dorsiflexors are one of the primary muscles that help pull the forefoot back to initiate
heel strike during heel strike running so the underutilization of the plantarflexors
during certain phases of gait in heel strike running may explain why the plantarflexors
may suffer some strength deficits which may allows for more impact to be sent up to shin
bone during heel strike running another reason for plantarflexor weakness in heel strike
runners who run in traditional running shoes is that cushion heeled running shoes may reduce
the sensory mechanisms that mediate plantarflexor strength and for this reason this is why many
researchers are coming to appreciate the potential advantages of barefoot running as barefoot
running trigger immediate changes in neuromuscular functions that may help protect the shin bone
from fracturing during running. For example, a study in the european journal
of applied physiology discovered that neuromuscular sensory stimulation may automatically improve
isometric strength while reducing muscle stiffness and it turns out that the degree of sensory
input during barefoot running that accompanies increased ankle and plantarflexor strength
is significant. A 2014 study in the Scandinavian Journal of
Medicine and Science in Sports demonstrated that sensory-rich neuromuscular facilitated
exercises improved and maintained plantar-flexor strength and we well know that barefooters
display higher levels of sensory inputs or nerve stimulation at the feet as compared
with runners who wear thick cushion heeled running shoes the form of sensory stimulation
on the bottom of the feet when you’re barefoot is a better way for the foot nerves to communicate
to the nerves in the ankle joint. Exposure of the barefoot to the environment
unleashes different stimuli and this high volume of sensory stimulation acting on the
bottom of the feet during barefoot running appears to manifest themselves in a way that
involves a more concentrated engagement of the ankle muscles and the plantar-flexors. Not only that when you run barefoot you typically
avoid mis-aligning your foot and ankle posture at touchdown, you land more forefooted or
towards the front part of your foot which recruits plantarflexor activity or demands
which ultimately helps you land more smoothly with the ground when you run barefoot. In general when you run barefoot you are,
in an evolutionary sense, programmed to reduce impact naturally by landing on the forefoot
first not the heel. And landing this way, this landing pattern
modification switching from a heel strike to a forefoot strike landing when you run
barefoot is protective and as I just stated landing with a forefoot strike employs greater
use of the plantarflexor muscles at down so this is how running barefoot selectively re-configures
your forefoot strike landing pattern in a way that can fundamentally alter and reduce
impact on the shin bone by keeping the plantar-flexors more engaged, more active which may give you
that added layer of impact absorption and less impact may be amplified on the shin bone. This data bolsters the case that barefoot
running training could be a tactical method about how to correct ankle and foot-strike
mechanics to ensure less impact penetrates the shins. Just to quickly reiterate it is important
to keep in mind that ankle weakness and plantar-flexor weakness are risk factors for shin fracture
development in runners and may derive from heel strike running while running in cushion
traditional running shoes because this type of running style in these types of shoes seemed
to bring together many mechanical and physical elements that may make it hard for the shin
bone to adapt to high volumes of running and may also explain why a reduction in shin injuries
in habitually shod heel strike runners are very mixed. Shin injuries remain a common running related
injury despite high advances in running shoe technology but again much of the mechanisms
that underlie strengthening the ankles and the plantarflexors are sensory dependent and
when you run in thick cushioned running shoes you don’t get that wide variety of sensory
stimuli on the feet and in the ankle joints as you do when you are barefoot. Overall these results may really incentivize
barefoot running and the data raises the possibility that by drawing on the sensory strengths when
you are barefoot the streams of sensory inputs channeled into the muscles of the foot and
ankle may change the way the shin bone responds to chronic stress it potentially reduces your
risk of damage to the lower leg. Lastly running with a forefoot strike is as
equally important as creating buffers against impact shooting up the shin bone by which
the plantarflexors appear to be more activated in a forefoot strike landing priming these
muscles to get stronger and may lead to better impact protection on the shin bone. For more information on barefoot running vs.
running in traditional running shoes please subscribe to my youtube channel and don’t
forget to check out my blog RunForefoot.com for more information on the health benefits
of barefoot and minimalist running. Thank you so much for it listening and watching,
have fun out there on the roads bye for now

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