Are Minimalist Shoes Effective for Strengthening Foot Muscles in Runners?

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As the main point of contact with the ground, the foot plays a vital role in how humans move. The complex structure of the foot includes 26 bones, more than 20 muscles, many ligaments and various types of soft tissue. These features allow the foot to provide rigid support or flexibility, depending on the situation. Weakness of the basic foot muscles (those small muscles located solely within the foot that do not cross the ankle joint) has been associated with a variety of foot injuries. Strengthening these muscles may help prevent injuries.

In this research, the investigators measured the effects of walking in minimalist footwear or performing specific foot strengthening exercises on the size and strength of some of these basic foot muscles. A total of 57 runners participated over a period of eight weeks in one of these randomly assigned conditions: minimalist shoe walking, foot muscle strengthening or a control situation. Serial measurements of foot muscle strength and size were made during the study.

The research showed that walking in minimalist shoes results in strength gains and muscle size increases; the same was found in the group that performed the foot exercises. While minimalist shoes have mostly been associated with running, the general public and/or people who suffer from a variety of painful foot conditions may benefit from walking in minimalist shoes.

For more information, view the abstract

American College of Sports Medicine

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Injury Assessment and Updates on MLB, MBA and NFL Players

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Dr. Charles Bush-Joseph from Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush talks with Steve Kashul about his years as team physician for the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls; updates on recent injuries in the MLB, MBA and NFL; description of various types of injuries, recovery time and how the injuries are diagnosed and treated to get players back in the game.

A graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School in 1983, Dr. Bush-Joseph is currently a Professor at Rush University Medical Center and the Associate Director of the Rush Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Fellowship Program. Dr. Bush-Joseph is a respected educator of medical students, residents, fellows, and practicing orthopedic surgeons lecturing at numerous national educational meetings. He serves on the editorial board of several national orthopedic journals, including the prestigious American Journal of Sports Medicine.dr. charles bush-joseph

Long involved in the care of high school, collegiate, and recreational athletes, Dr. Bush-Joseph is a team physician for the Chicago White Sox Major League Baseball Club and Associate Team Physician for the Chicago Bulls. Through his experience with high-profile professional athletes, Dr. Bush-Joseph was elected to the Major League Baseball Medical Advisory Board and president of the Major League Baseball Team Physician Association for 2012.

This exclusive group of team physicians advises the Major League Baseball Commissioner on medical policy and emerging trends in training and the medical care of the elite athlete. Academically, Dr. Bush-Joseph is nationally renown with leadership roles in several national orthopedic societies and president of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. He has authored over 140 published manuscripts and book chapters.

Sports Medicine Weekly on 670 The Score

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Stress Fractures of the Foot: Prevention and Treatment

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Dr. Kamran Hamid from Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush talks with Dr. Cole and Steve Kashul about stress fractures of the 5th metatarsal and Jones fractures; prevention and recovery.

Dr. Kamran HamidDr. Kamran S. Hamid has a special interest in ankle replacement surgery, foot deformity correction, sports injuries, and arthritis and trauma of the foot and ankle. He earned his medical degree from the Texas A&M College of Medicine. Dr. Hamid went on to complete his Master of Public Health degree in Quantitative Methods at the Harvard School of Public Health. He completed his fellowship in orthopedic foot and ankle surgery at Duke University School of Medicine.

Dr. Hamid is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS). He has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications on the topics of ankle replacements and is a national expert on providing high value care to patients.

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Ask the Doctor!

This regular segment of ‘Ask the Doctor’ addresses questions sent in by Sports Medicine Weekly followers.

In this segment Dr. Cole answers questions about:

  • Recovery from a Broken Toe: Recommended Rehab Routine.
  • Fluid on the Knee: Description, causes and treatment.
  • Discussion with Steve Kashul on family workouts.

Click here to have your question addressed live by Dr. Brian Cole on an upcoming show.

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