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Minimize Injury, Maximize Performance by Dr. Tommy John

Minimize Injury, Maximize Performance by Dr. Tommy John

Author:Dr. Tommy John
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Published: 2018-05-05T16:00:00+00:00


WEARING SHOES THAT ARE WORKING AGAINST THEM

More than 90 percent of the young athletes that come through my office injured all suffer from collapsed arches. That’s because many are walking around in shoes they believe will make them a more functional athlete, but that are secretly destroying the foundation of their feet.

Have you ever seen a broken arm or leg after the cast comes off? Within as little as six weeks, the muscles within that limb suffer from disuse atrophy due to not using them. The problem with today’s high-tech footwear is that all that extra cushioning and arch support they come with is creating the same effect in young athletes’ feet. In other words, those $150 shoes are $150 casts that are taking away the responsibility of what their feet are naturally supposed to do.

It works like this: Worn long enough, people’s brain begins to communicate with their feet regarding which areas down below are being supported and cushioned. In turn, the brain spends less energy worrying about the strength of certain ligaments and muscles, because after all—the shoes have it covered.

They’re just feet—who cares! I’ve had parents say that to me, believing it’s one less thing to worry about. That’s until I ask their children to demonstrate just one single movement or skill from their sport. In almost every instance, whether it’s a swing, throw, kick, push-off, jump, you-name-it—it requires creating force through the ground. And what’s the first thing that touches the ground that your child’s muscles integrate through?

It’s their feet.

What’s happening today in some athletes is that you have all these overdeveloped muscles stacked upon these two points of contact—two points that aren’t developed as they should be. Yet this small square footage is so vital for reacting with the ground that if it doesn’t do its job properly, that if it’s not conditioned enough to support the mass above it and how that mass moves in all planes of motion, then all that synchronicity falls apart, leading to a decrease in performance—or worse, a possible injury.



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