Barefoot Running: Pros And Cons

Barefoot running have been part of the subculture. This is actually based on a questionable knowledge. Barefoot runners believe that going barefoot is natural for human because human ran and walked without shoes for millions of years. They state that being shoeless can also reverse injuries caused by modern running technique while at the same time preventing problems in the future. However, this Paleo-based lifestyle is not enough to recommend patients to do so because million years ago human did not face asphalt and concrete streets. Another point is that in that time, you will not find 50- or 60-year-old people who are still running.

A study by a Harvard professor showed that barefoot runners have a significantly different foot strike that minimizes structural impact if compared to runners who worn shoes. Another research conducted by Lieberman, et al., tried to analyze the adult US athletes’ running style by involving Kenyan athletes who had grown up running barefoot, but had switched to running with shoes; Kenyan athletes who had never worn shoes; adult U.S. runners who had grown up wearing shoes; and adult U.S. athletes who had always worn shoes as the participants. The research showed that when landing, the toes of the barefoot runners are pointed, which will cause the impact to be put at the middle or front of the foot instead of on the heel, making the runners less prone to repetitive-stress injuries.

Another Harvard research showed that barefoot runners use less energy when running the same distances as runners wearing traditional shoes and striking with the heel.

Another research was done to question the true benefit of foot running. The participants were recreational, experienced runners who had run between 15 and 30 miles a week wearing normal running shoes until the beginning of the trial. To ensure there were no pre-existing injuries, all participants received a pre-participation MRI.

Half participants as control group kept their running with the same shoes, and the other half of them were given barefoot-style shoes. They had to follow the duration based on the study.

The follow-up MRI studies 10 weeks later showed no participants experienced injuries or tissue changes in the lower leg’s structure. But those wearing barefoot-style shoes experienced increased bone-marrow edema in the tarsals and metatarsal bones.

The radiologist showed that the control group indicated slight edema (level 1), while the majority barefoot group indicated level-2 edema, with 3 of them experienced level-3 edema and 2 displayed full stress fractures in the calcaneus or metatarsals with associated level-4 edema.

Changing to barefoot does not always cause injuries. However, the transition period must be given much attention. Though distance barefoot running is natural for our ancestors, modern people never experience this kind of thing. If you’re grown up wearing shoes while running, you will need to make the transition as slowly as possible to give your muscles and bones time to make the change.


Tips for Chiropractic Golf

Many people love golf but unfortunately many people also have got injured while playing it. It is reported that 80% of the injuries are back injuries. Here are some chiropractic golf tips you can do before going to the green to prevent injury.

1. Entire body stretching

You can increase the flexibility of your body by having a stretching before and after a golf game. You must focus on some muscles and areas of the body, such as calves, Achilles tendon, hamstring, hips, hip flexor, quadriceps, wrist, core, upper and lower back, shoulders, and pectorals.

2. Core strengthening

When you swing your club, you use your core muscle. The mistake that people think about their core is that it is simply the abdominal muscles. While in fact, core muscle consists of larger muscle group from shoulder to pelvis:

  • Scapular stabilizers (muscles that function to keep shoulder joints and blades in place)
  • Three layers of abdominal muscle: rectus abdominis, external oblique muscle, and transverse abdominis
  • Multifidus (thin muscles located in spine)
  • Crucial muscles on the hips: gluteus minimus, medius, and maximus
  • Pelvic floor muscle (muscles that function to help the pelvic movement)

 3. Off-course practice

One of the ways to keep your body fit when you’re on the course is by having a practice off the course. For example, in midweek, you can practice to swing in the backyard.

 4. Hip exercise

Golf is focused on the hips. Your swing can be improved by stabilizing the muscles assisting the hip rotation. This way will also reduce your back pain. You can strengthen your hip muscles and increase its flexibility by doing open and closed kinetic chain exercises, such as:

  • Open kinetic chain exercises: chest presses, bicep curls, leg curls and leg extensions
  • Closed kinetic chain exercises: pushups, pull-ups, squats and lunges

5. Body Observation

You need to observe your own body. Anytime it tells you stop, you must stop and don’t push yourself too hard. When you experience pain, it means that your body tries to send you a message. If necessary, you can put down your clubs for a couple of days and take a rest.