Saturday, January 29, 2011
Foot orthoses: A bit of a myth
Dr. Benno Nigg (Human Performance Lab) has a new book out (If the shoe fits) and according to the acknowledged expert he declares, ‘increasingly expensive accessories make almost no difference to running injury rates.’ Nigg admits foot orthotic industry is now a billion-dollar industry, but accepts it is still unclear how they work and how they correct mechanical-alignments such as shin splints, knee and foot pain. The author concludes prescribers cannot yet predict the effect of a given foot orthoses. The biomechanist believes there is a correlation between what an individual finds comfortable and the insock’s ability to prevent or alleviate patho-mechanical problems. However when it comes to buying runners buy what feels good. Discerning consumers should not be dazzled by high-tech claims telling you which shoes will complement your gait. Despite the development of foot orthotic industry in the last thirty years the frequency of running injury has not substantially changed. He concurs research supports the biggest predictor of injury is intensity and not the shoes that are worn.