Running enthusiasts will often happily go along with coaching programs and consult various other specialists to help them run faster or better, and then when injury strikes, visit various sports doctors or listen to their friend for remedies. Visiting a podiatrist for sport and foot-related issues is still some way from being a mainstream practice in Singapore.
Our colleague Fiona Lee has long been troubled by what some sports physiotherapists claim to be a low arch on her right foot. She has tried out many claimed remedies from taping to massage, but nothing has stuck so far.
So we headed over to The Foot Practice (www.thefootpractice.com) to consult Tim Maiden. Will the podiatrist be able to find the source of the problem?
Tim started off by doing a short interview to assess what the problem was and how it was being a hindrance to Fiona’s running.
This was followed by a functional movement analysis to check out how her muscles may be more biased towards one side than the other. Before this, we were under the impression that the podiatrist only fettled with the feet. Time to get educated, I guess.
Walking and running assessments on the treadmill followed, and further questions were issued. We discovered that what Fiona always thought, and was told was a problem with her foot was not exactly true.
A detailed assessment revealed that her knee on the affected leg was not tracking straight throughout the gait cycle. It was leaning inwards upon the foot’s contact with the ground, leading to her foot to artificially over pronate, which in turn causes pain along the foot arch over long running distances. Tim traced the issue up to the hip joint as well, and it seemed that what was initially a muscle and range of motion imbalance had become a habit as the body compensated for it over the years.
Tim prescribed a series of static exercises to be performed regularly as a way expanding Fiona’s muscle and limb movement range. It’s a way to realign the body’s balance and the aim is to have her striding more symmetrically, and then a follow-up assessment would be conducted in a fortnight or so to see what further corrections needed to be done.
We’ll see what difference it has made after two weeks, but for now, Fiona has to be working on her exercises.