Updated: Aug 13, 2018
A podiatrist, also known as a podiatric physician or "foot and ankle surgeon", is a medical doctor devoted to the study and medical treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle and lower extremity (source: Wikipedia).
Now we can hear you think 'What The heck? Do I need to visit a pediatrist as a runner without any complaint?’. Well the answer is YES. A preventive check-up will help you to avoid injuries.
So we both made an appointment with Michael De Geyter from 'De 12e man'
Once arrived at Michael's cabinet, he first asked us some general questions.
Whether we broke certain bones before?
Whether we had surgery in the past?
Whether we have certain disorders or diseases in our family?
For both of us the answer was 'No' to all questions.
After the general questions, Michael continued asking us for the reason of our visit.
We know that running, our outdoor workouts and physical activity make us healthy. However we also know that during our running, outdoor workouts or other physical activity sessions, we expose ourselves to a higher risk of getting injured. This is called the sports-paradox.
We explained to Michael that we consult him to get a general checkup of our feet and legs to reduce the chance of getting injured during our training towards the NYC Marathon. We wanted to know whether our legs and feet move within the norm. Whether our body is moving in a way that is safe to run a marathon.
We both have our sensitivities, for me, Daisy, it's my left ancle that is sometimes causing me pain. For Elien it's her knees that she sometimes struggles a little with. But Michael comforts us and explains that everybody has their zones which feel uncomfortable. He also explains that if the pain disappears within 48 hours, it is just an irritation not an inflammation or injury.
That being said, the first part of the consultation is in the pocket! Up to part 2...
the Pediatric Biomechanical Research.
During this part the mobility and interrelation between our different joints were carefully measured, both under load and off load. This means that we underwent a walking/running analysis which was filmed and that we had different dynamic foot pressure measurements whereby we had to walk over a footscan. This consists out of small sensors which measure the pressure and power of every part of the sole of our feet.
Concretely we started by standing on a transparent light box, where Michael first drew some lines on our lower legs and put some stickers on our legs and ancles.
This first test showed that we both have a light pronation in our right ancle and a mild pronation in our left ancle, which means that our ancle turns slightly inwards in standing position.
Scores which remain within a +3 / -3 rate are normal and it does not mean that because a pronation occurs in standing position that the pronation is still present during running.
So we had to walk and run on the footscan and on the treadmill to discover this. During walking/running, Michael looked at which part of the foot hits the floor first, what the position of our ancles, feet, lower legs and knees was. We started barefoot and we repeated all tests with running shoes as well to see the difference.
Elien's pronation could be solved by running with anti-pronation running shoes. These shoes have different densities in its sole which correct the ancle position. On the inner side of the shoe, the sole is harder than on the outside.
I needed correction in my soles to correct my pronation because my legs have a 12mm difference, for which I have already need soles in my shoes. Additionally I needed a bubble in the middle of my soles to avoid getting stress fractures in the bones of my foot.
Now that we have a good reason for shoe shopping :-) we cannot wait to get our new pair of shoes.
If you want a check-up of your feet, ancles, knees, legs,...
get in touch with one of the team members of 'de 12e man' and fix your appointment!