How Sports Podiatrists Can Help
Sports injuries are debilitating and frustrating for active people so when you’re injured it’s important to see the right sports podiatrists. When you come to The Foot Clinic in Perth with pain, our team is focused on helping you get back to the sport you love through successful diagnosis and treatment.
Your team of Sports Podiatrists
Our CEO and Principal Podiatrist Dr Suresh Sivacolundhu is both an active sports person and an experienced Sports Podiatrist who has worked with high level athletes from the Australian Institute of Sport, The Wallabies, Peel Thunder and the Canberra Raiders as well as being one of the medical team Podiatrists at the Sydney Olympics, Melbourne Commonwealth Games, Perth Hopman Cup and Perth Triathlon World Championships. He also held an Australian Athletics record in the 4x400m relay, and in 2016 competed at the World Masters Athletics.
Our Senior Podiatrist Dr Lauren has been with The Foot Clinic since 2003 after receiving the Vice Chancellor’s award for clinical excellence. She has trained as a professional dancer both here in Perth and also Brazil, and has extensive experience with foot and leg injuries within this highly physical and demanding sport.
Our Team Podiatrist Dr Harriet is a not just a state level Volleyball player, but she also graduated with multiple Podiatry awards for clinical excellence at UniSA. As you can see, we truly have a high performance Podiatry team!
Preventing and treating a running injury
Activities such as marathon running are repetitive sorts of exercises, this can cause overuse injuries of muscles, tendons and ligaments in the foot and lower limb.
Our first job is to identify where the pain is and why it happened. Treatment usually begins with pain relief through both standard protocol and new technology methods, such as THOR Laser Therapy.
Next we protect and support your feet using various options, including complex strapping techniques, braces, structured footwear and orthotics.
Finally we introduce foot manipulative therapy, fascial releases, proprioceptive stimulation and intrinsic foot strengthening exercises to develop strong foundations. This is what will ultimately take you further than where you have been before.
Preventing recurring running injuries
Your sports podiatrist isn’t just focused on treating your injury, but on preventing those injuries from returning. Regardless of the sport or injury, it’s always about what sports podiatry refers to as neuromuscular strengthening. Put simply, it’s creating foot strength, and deep pelvic floor strength, and connecting the two together with your reflexive balance mechanism. Even fun runs can result in injuries, especially if you haven’t done one before or haven’t done one for a long time.
Mums, dads and kids who aren’t regular athletes are probably most prone to injury. We often start with lightweight well-cushioned shoes, maybe with some structure and support, perhaps orthotics to change the foot position and create a functional change, and then, most importantly, foot strengthening work.
The pros of barefoot running
One big trend in running in the past few years has been barefoot running. A Harvard University study found that experienced barefoot runners don’t land on their heel but rather on their forefoot or midfoot.
With a long background in podiatry for athletes, Dr Suresh says he is a firm advocate for barefoot running. “I am an EBFA Level One Barefoot Rehabilitation Instructor,” he says. “I believe it’s how we were born and how we were meant to be. It’s also a great way to connect with and feel the ground.” “If you have a cushioned shoe underneath your foot then it dulls your sense of what you’re landing on. That means your proprioceptive reflex, your automatic response to the ground, doesn’t active quite as quickly. When you take your shoes off and start running or walking you can feel the ground much more and respond faster.”
But he adds “I also believe that without good foot and leg strength, or without strong posture, you are more prone to injury if running in bare feet.” The Foot Clinic’s team of Sports Podiatrists are well equipped to evaluate your feet and lower limbs and make sure that your feet, legs, and in fact your entire body is strong enough to go barefoot.
Getting started with barefoot running
We use proven pathways to create awesome postural strength and give you tips on how to begin the transition to minimalist footwear or to actually run barefoot. Most important is the transition must be slow and progressive. There are no shortcuts as they will only lead to injury and ultimately will take you longer to progress.