Why Podiatry and Chiropody can play a key part in your training.

Many of the common musculoskeletal problems encountered by podiatrists on a daily basis are often associated to overuse syndromes.

For example, shin splints, compartment syndrome and muscle strain are commonly seen in runners due to over activity of one or more of the muscles on the lower leg. The muscles of the lower leg may be over worked from repetitious road running, type of training shoes worn, and biomechanical abnormalities. Painful muscles of the feet may easily be resolved with a combination of rest, physical therapy, massage and appropriate supportive footwear. Arch supports may also benefit for both comfort and preventing muscle fatigue and injury.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DEVELOP SYMPTOMS AND STILL WISH TO TRAIN?

When injury or fatigue occurs in the musculoskeletal system, your podiatrist will always recommend a break from the activity and seek the appropriate medical opinion. Preventing overuse injury may be easier than we think. In the long term, cross training may be of great benefit in injury prevention or rehabilitation. By choosing multiple sporting activities, rather than a single specific activity such as long distance road running, you may be able to maintain or increase fitness with a lower risk of over working muscle groups. Cross training may assist with the development of all over body fitness and conditioning. Your podiatrist may recommend a combination of swimming, cycling, running and light gym work. In fact swimming is one of the safest ways to train if you wish to stay injury free and maintain great fitness.

WHY IS TRAINING IN THE WATER SO BENEFICIAL?

Most podiatrists and medical professionals would probably agree that swimming has multiple health benefits. It is non-weight bearing, which means there is less force on the smaller structures of the body. It takes stress off the joints and may even promote healing by allowing temporary increase in joint space. If we imagined it’s rather like when we sleep, weight is taken off the joint surface allowing fluid and nutrients to enter the joint space for repair. Also, improvements in overall fitness may be achieved as the heart and lungs are well stimulated whilst training in water. Some Triathletes have quoted that they undertake the majority of their training in the pool or on the bike. It is up to the individual to partake in the sporting activities of their choice. Therefore, by discussing your training programme goal and activities with your podiatrist or medical professional, you may be able to prevent injury in the first place.