Friday, July 2, 2010

"The Gait Guys" Offer an In Depth Report

As soon as Dr Baroody mentioned that I had a condition called Hallux Functional Limitis and an inverted heel, I went online to find out everything that I could. One place that I went to was "The Gait Guys" website.
THE source for progressive and innovative gait analysis, performance and rehabilitation information.

I embedded one of their videos on  my post on inverted heels, but I had a question, so I asked it in their forums.  Dr. Ivo Waerlop, one of the Gait Guys, was kind enough to repsond and gave a pretty thorough and technical observation of what he saw going on with my feet and legs based on my videos. It is nice to give names to what I sensed was going on, even though I didn't know what it was called that made my feet and legs "not the norm". I guess it all started going awry as I was developing before I was born. Thanks Mom! He then goes on with more descriptions after observing pictures of my feet. I guess my feet and stride are even curious enough that they may make a teaching case from my videos and photos.

I do know one saying that I really dislike and I have heard it constantly in one form or another from my earliest days of running. It goes something like this, "Running is 10% physical and 90% mental." I always think that this quote is very wrong in implying that good running is basically a case of who is the strongest mentally. I would disagree, you  need to be born with a good set of wheels if you want to be good! Everyone does not start out on equal footing (or with equal feet). It is what you do with your wheels that forms the mental part.

I appreciate Dr. Ivo's responses and look forward to seeing what I can still do to improve my mechanics and functioning. That along with  the quality care I am now getting from Dr. Baroody and the insoles from Dr. Dananberg might mean I may be able to get a few more years out of these legs, and hopefully do so with an improved economy and efficiency.

How are the new insoles going? I got them Tuesday and wore them all day. I ran the Lowell 5K about 20 seconds slower than the previous week, but once I started running my left sacrum started seizing up. Wednesday I wore them again all day and at the track my left glutes were really stressed and sore. The workout was a struggle as I think my left glutes were starting to do work for a change. This is the side that the PT said my glute medius was very week on, as well as my hip flexor being tight and weak, and so I was using my TFL to compensate. Well these muscles were getting really sore, particularly the glutes. This morning it was again tight and sore. I ran 8 miles slowly. I almost turned home after 100 yards as it was difficult to move. Halfway through the run, things loosened up a bit. My feet seem to be very stable on the ground and my toes appear to point straight ahead. I don't have as much twisting and turning. I noticed that my feet roll across the ground and after awhile I realized that I was extending my leg behind me more and actually getting a push-off. I had another ART treatment today that worked on the muscles that had tightened up in the hips, back, and noticeably the hamstrings, so I hope things start settling down and working together for an improved stride.

I do like this video, "What Can The Single Leg Deadlift do for you?" that Frank Snideman posted here. The forum discussion where I found it is here. I think it can be very important for my strengthening at this time and I find it much easier to do these types of moves with the balance that is restored to my feet with the new insoles.


Anonymous said...

Jim, does everyone who toes out when they run have this? I do the same thing as you - when I showed my husband the videos of you running, he said I look worse than that. I often feel "off balance" in shoes, and wonder if this is why. Thanks for all these links and videos, it is very interesting!

Jim Hansen said...

That is a great question and I am not sure I would have then answer. My left foot toes out some because and Dr. Ivo calls that "external tibial torsion". What I notice with the FHL is that my big toe joint (1st MTP joint) does collapse in with the arch when I run and put weight on it, so the foot flattens and then rolls to the inside and pronates. I am noticing that with the insoles it actually feels something like a new bone was put in my foot, because that toe joint is now bearing weight. The insoles have changed my running stride, but my body is not used to it yet. When I used the insoles in my cycling cleats and went for a couple of bike rides it was incredible. I have never felt better or more comfortable cycling and I used to do a lot of it. All of a sudden I could bear weight on the big toe's joint. See what happens to your feet when you do to them what Dr. Dananberg shoes in his video. If you think this might be what is happening see what an expert says. I had many doctors and therapists that I pointed this out to in the past and none of them mentioned FHL so I even wonder if it is on the radar for many of them. Good luck and I feel bad that your stride looks worse than mine. I once was passed in a 1/2 marathon by a lady who ran toed out with knees knocking in just looking uncomfortable and she did a 1:23. The "off balance" thing with my insoles has been immediately improved. I like walking and standing in them as my feet are now going in the right direction and I have 3 points of support on each foot!

Anonymous said...

You may find something of interest in the following article about your inflexible big toe:

Running Fool

Jim Hansen said...

Thanks for the link to the excellent article, Running Fool. I hadn't seen that yet although I recognize the author's names. It an wonderful resource that I will have to study.

Peter Sjögren said...

Dear Jim thanks for a excellent article on your condition. I've read several of your articles in the past and love your content. This piece really hit home though! I think I have the same thing as you, also weak left glute complex and external tibial torsion. I am curious as to how your insoles were modelled? Is it a wedge for the first MTP joint? It sound so relieving and I can visualise what you are writing about having a new bone, mine, as yours, just collapse when weight bearing.

Jim Hansen said...

Hi Peter,
These are the actual orthotics he first gave me (named after him) . There is a cutout under the toe joint. They lasted a couple of months, but got really stinky. He made me a pair of orthotics after this with the cutout. I never liked them and had surgery for a torn hip labrum between the two different orthotics. I think what really helped me was the mobilizations he did on my foot and leg. These got my feet to work better. I am not sure is the orthotics what really helped. I don't wear either now. I did have him do the foot mobilizations after that year and my foot worked a whole lot better after these visits. I am now trying to get there on my own. Here is one exercise that I do when the leg is rotating more than it should. It is not a cure all, but is part of trying to rebalance everything.