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Injury Compensation

Unfortunately for Ryan Hall, he has not been in the news recently for an Olympic medal nor will he be in the news for doing well at the New York City Marathon in November. Ryan however, is in the news because he has been struggling with a long run of injuries, beginning with plantar fasciitis.

The purpose of this post is not to discuss Ryan or the relation to shoes and injury (that has been done for us), but to show how one injury can cause another. Regrettably for Mr. Hall, he is going to be used as an example.

While preparing for the Olympic Marathon he had a bout of plantar fasciitis, but seemed to overcome this setback in time for the race. However he soon encountered a problem with his right hamstring, which he blames on altering his stride to compensate for his injured plantar fascia. The hamstring pain forced him to drop out of the Olympic Marathon at mile 10. After taking a bit of time off, he resumed training. It seems both the plantar fasciitis and hamstring injuries were behind him. However soon he found himself getting a MRI due to an injured left quad.

The point of all of this is that a single injury can potentially cause a series of many others. Ryan blames both the hamstring and quad injuries on altering his stride mechanics to compensate for another pain.

“I just need to get my normal stride back,” Ryan says. “The plantar fasciitis caused compensation. I was running differently and tweaked my right hamstring. I was running differently and tweaked by left quad.

This can happen to anyone. Even something as simple as a blister under your big toe could cause you to land on a more lateral part of your foot, completely changing your entire run gait, from your big toe to the top of your head, the kinetic chain is modified. Now you are stressing your body in new way, and doing so very suddenly. A new and sudden repetitive stress that the body is not adapted for is a very common cause of injury.

You may also like:
Is Static Stretching the Best for Flexibility?
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Secrets of Uninjured Runners

Have you had an injury due to this type of compensation?

Be mindful of how your body is moving and feeling, and remember to #runreal

Thanks to http://chasingatalanta.blogspot.com/ for the photo

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COMMENTS

  • Tyler - I couldn't agree more, especially with recurrent injuries. We need to step back and look at our training (frequency, intensity, volume) as well as our form. There is a root cause for everything.
    Kyle - changing shoes allows us to alter the location of the biomechanical loads which often helps. I agree. Moving to more minimal shoes often causes people to think about form and be more aware of technique.
    Just yesterday I went for a 10 mile trail run and brought out an older pair of shoes because I knew the trail was going to be very muddy. I didn't want to bang up my new SKORA's ;-). Anyway I developed a blister at about the 5 mile mark because of these other shoes and had to gradually change my form. Amazing how sore the rest of my legs were for the remainder of the day

  • This really speaks to taking your time coming back from a severe form changing injury.

  • It might be less about finding the right shoe, and more about finding the right form.

    I say this from experience (custom, $600 orthotics used in $130 Asic shoes for years).

    It was only when I took off my shoes and worked on form from the ground up that my problems were solved. While barefoot wasn't an option all the time, I experimented with Vibrams, Luna sandals and then settled on SKORAs as my most-of-the-time running shoe.

    But none of that would have worked had form not being my #1 goal.

  • By kyle.kranz

    Christopher,

    I've also dealt with PF in the past. It was actually the reason I began running in minimalist shoes. I found wearing lightweight options casually made a huge impact as well, strengthening my feet throughout the day while I was not running :)

    Good luck! Heal up :)

    Kyle Kranz
    Social Media Coordinator / SKORA Running

  • By christopher stranathan

    I am a first time marathoner, completing the Akron Marathon last weekend. I enjoyed my run but also suffered from anterior tibialis strain and plantar fasciitis through my training this past spring and summer. I sustained large blisters and hematomas under my toenails on the foot with which I have plantar fasciitis. Upon the advice of my physical therapist and my podiatrist, I was fitted for custom orthotics and wore these on my training runs. However, this never cured my plantar fasciitis. I wore New Balance 1190's during my training runs and for the marathon. However, I chose not to wear my custom orthotics as I knew I would never be able to complete the marathon with them. I found a pair of inserts from Currex which made a difference in my plantar fasciitis and allowed me to finish my marathon. However, I am still looking for the right shoe for my feet as I feel that my current shoes do not have enough room in the toebox and too much heel. I believe that unless I find the right shoe for my feet, my running injuries will lead to a series of other complications.

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