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Douglas Pacaccio, DPM
Thomas Nordquist, DPM

Efficiency in Walking and Running Differ

Tuesday, 11 October 2022 00:00

The way the foot meets the ground differs in walking and running. Generally, the heel touches the ground first and the weight then rolls onto the ball of the foot and toes during walking. In fact, studies show that walking onto the ball of the foot takes about 50 percent more energy and walking on the toes takes about 80 percent more energy. Heel-first walking is considered to be the most economical way to move. However, this economy of movement does not necessarily transfer to running, some believe. Studies have shown that it is more efficient to land on the toes or ball of the foot while running, rather than on the heel first. In fact, the fastest runners in the animal kingdom – horses, gazelles, deer, and dogs – all land on their toes first. Many elite human runners, both sprinters and distance, do not land on their heels first. That said, many experts agree that your natural strike pattern, toe first or heel first, should remain constant, as it is less efficient to try to convert from one to the other. For more information on the effects of walking or running on your feet, please consult a podiatrist.

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Advanced Foot and Ankle Surgeons, Inc. . Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Sycamore, and Yorkville, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Biomechanics in Podiatry
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