In the last issue, I looked at the basic anatomical and biomechanical dysfunctions that often lead to overuse injuries in the joints and specifically at the role of faulty foot mechanics (PP 205, November 2004). The current article goes on to consider a range of treatment regimes for chronic sports injuries, including orthotic therapy and prevention.
The focus here is on chronic, recurrent injuries that are a result of repetitive micro-traumatic overuse syndromes, including shin splints, foot arch pain, runner’s knee, jumpers knee, ilio-tibial band syndrome, sacro-iliac joint dysfunctions, and chronic low back pain. Such overuse injuries are commonly caused by underlying biomechanical weaknesses in the involved joints. These weaknesses, in turn, can be caused by such previous severe macro-trauma as fractures or severe ligament sprains. However, the emphasis here is on the biomechanical role of the foot in absorbing shock at impact, and facilitating propulsion at push-off during the gait cycle.