Physical therapist weighs in on barefoot running trend
As the summer lingers, many people are staying active by lacing up their sneakers and running, either competitively or just for fun. Those holding physical therapy jobs can help to correct these patients' running form to prevent injury, treat joint pain from continued contact with the pavement or suggest a running shoe that may improve the runner's comfort.
But not every runner is dons their sneaks before heading out for a jog, and a debate over the benefits and risks of barefoot running looms. For years, competitive runners have disputed the merits of this trend, the Harrison Patch reports.
George Milic, a former competitive mile runner, says he believes that barefoot running is dangerous for anyone who has not grown up with the practice, while George Landegger, founder of Barefoot Runners of Westchester, in New York, declared that the habit helped him cope with foot, knee and hip pain that came from wearing uncomfortable shoes.
Rob Castorina, who holds a PT job in New York, straddled the line on the debate, recognizing benefits but remaining wary of risks.
According to Castorina's comments to the news provider, barefoot running could help "strengthen the muscles of the foot and ankle as well as improve proprioception." However, he says, "individuals who have some underlying foot pathology
may be at risk of injury."
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