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Barefoot running and hyper mobility syndrome (Read 1395 times)

MissAmyMay


    Hello there I'm a fairly aerobically fit 33-year old non-runner, looking for a little advice. I'm extremely hyper mobile which means my joints bend in all sorts of exciting directions (I have ostrich knees, buckling ankles and hands like spiders, to mention but a few comedy issues!). I used to do lots of running but had frequent knee injuries, which were attributed to my super-bendiness. I was told by several physios, in no uncertain terms, never to run again, after a nasty marathon left me limping after even the shortest runs. But I desperately miss that glorious feeling of freedom and release that I used to get from running, and have never quite found a way to replace it. I've been reading lots recently about barefoot and vibram techniques and wondered if it might be the answer to get me back into running after all this time. Has anyone else had hyper mobility issues which have affected their running and has anybody managed to alleviate any of their problems by abandoning traditional shoes? If so I'd love to hear from you! Best wishes to all Amy May.

      I haven't abandoned shoes completely, but I run in minimalist shoes, sandals, etc.  My bread-and-butter shoe recently is the Inov8 Bare X-200...4mm of outsole, no midsole. 

       

      I also have hypermobile joints--my joints pop and click frequently, I can rotate my feet over 180 degrees and walk with my knees facing backwards, etc. My ankles "roll" if I don't land evenly.

       

      For me, the "closer I am to the ground," the less problem I have with rolling and buckling. 

       

      For my experiment of one, all the aches and pains that I used to get when I would try to run are gone.  I went minimal (and started running) a little over a year ago.  It was not easy at the beginning, and it required a very serious change to the way I ran, too.

       

      That said, everyone is different.  There's no set formula, no universal combination of perfect shoe (or lack thereof) and foot-stroke--especially with the additional variability induced by hyper mobile joints.  If you do try it, listen to your body.  Be brutally honest with yourself when you are.

       

      Between my hypermobility, athritis in my left ankle, and structural problems in my foot from a multiple break over a decade ago, I can relate to the "you'll never run" edict.  They were wrong about me.  Hope they're wrong about you, too.

      "When a person trains once, nothing happens. When a person forces himself to do a thing a hundred or a thousand times, then he certainly has developed in more ways than physical. Is it raining? That doesn't matter. Am I tired? That doesn't matter, either. Then willpower will be no problem." 
      Emil Zatopek


      Fat butt on couch

        I can't relate to the hyper-mobility part, but FWIW any well-run marathon leaves me limping around and hard to run for a couple weeks.  Not sure what you meant by that comment but marathons can be brutal on you.  Poor reason to judge between running vs not running.

         

        I immediately suspect any "don't run at all" advice.  Sounds too much like a knee-jerk, ill-thought advice to me.

         

        I kind of doubt that minimalism is some fix-all for hyper-mobility.  But I would try a lot of different things until you find exactly what works for YOU.

        "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

         

        PurdueMatt05


          I used to have very painful shin splints and other lower leg pain. I've started practicing this:

           

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q51W7dKaY94

           

          in these:

           

          http://www.runningwarehouse.com/descpageMRS-NF4M4.html

           

          and I feel reborn. No more leg pain.

           

          This is also a great website for learning more about minimalist running:

           

          http://www.runblogger.com/

           

          Hope this helps.


          just a simple cat

            Wouldn't hyper-mobility do better in stability shoes than in minimalist?  I thought that was what they were for; to add stability.   I was told I didn't need stability shoes because my feet were so stiff.  Big grin

             

             

              Hi there,

               

              I have hypermobility as well, although it sounds like mine is not quite as severe as yours, MissAmyMay. I have some pretty curiously rotating elbows, ankles that like to roll (but tendons long enough to cope with it on the bright side!), and lots and lots of problems in particular with my hips and lower back as a result of running (and life in general). Whilst I have never tried minimalist/barefoot running, I balance out my running with strength work. I work once a fortnight with a personal trainer who is a qualified exercise physiologist and do plenty of core/strength work in between. Oh, and I recently discovered Osteopaths. Fricking awesome. Big grin

               

              I too would be really interested to hear from other hypermobile persons!

                Hello there I'm a fairly aerobically fit 33-year old non-runner, looking for a little advice. I'm extremely hyper mobile which means my joints bend in all sorts of exciting directions (I have ostrich knees, buckling ankles and hands like spiders, to mention but a few comedy issues!). I used to do lots of running but had frequent knee injuries, which were attributed to my super-bendiness. I was told by several physios, in no uncertain terms, never to run again, after a nasty marathon left me limping after even the shortest runs. But I desperately miss that glorious feeling of freedom and release that I used to get from running, and have never quite found a way to replace it. I've been reading lots recently about barefoot and vibram techniques and wondered if it might be the answer to get me back into running after all this time. Has anyone else had hyper mobility issues which have affected their running and has anybody managed to alleviate any of their problems by abandoning traditional shoes? If so I'd love to hear from you! Best wishes to all Amy May.

                I don't have hyper-mobility problem; I don't know of anybody with that issue (although, as far as I'm concerned, my daughter, who can do a Chinese split, is just as well being hyper mobile!!).  

                 

                As far as I can think of, a term hyper-mobile can be caused by at least 2 things--weak muscle structures and extended ligaments.  I'm sure there are other causes that could possibly be alerted because of whatever the medical reasons I don't have a clue about,  I don't really do weight training or strength training but what I've heard in the past is that the trainer often would tell you to make sure you do some level of stretching because added strength would "hyper-stabilize" your joints.  Now you mentioned knee injuries which, like I said, could be attributed to super "bendiness" but I'm also wondering if that could be somewhat corrected with strength training to stabilize your knee joints...  If you have some sort of structural issue that almost all of your joints are "bendy", chances are that it's not just muscle structure that contributes to super bendiness; but if not, if your knee is an isolated issue, I'd be more opt to say do some strength exercises and see what happen.  

                 

                As far as I'm concerned, to run a marathon, which it seems that you had, in such a condition is rather stupid! ;o)  But you did it!!  Whatever the serious condition this hyper-mobility may be, you were at the point where you could run 26-miles which is only 2% of the whole American population--in other words, however you did it, you are in the group of especially physically fit member of elite individuals!!  Unless that marathoning really messed you up and now you can't even stand up, well, that's a bit different story.  But for physio people to come back, after the fact you did run a full marathon, that you would never run again is rather a stupid comment to me.  Your physical make-up was top 2% of the whole nation.  Think of the physical potential that you possess that, one way or the other, other so-called "professionals" are trying to bury in...  Don't let that happen.  Defy them.

                  Wouldn't hyper-mobility do better in stability shoes than in minimalist?  I thought that was what they were for; to add stability.   I was told I didn't need stability shoes because my feet were so stiff.  Big grin

                  No, with 2 reasons.

                   

                  One is already mentioned by Rgilbert.  You will actually be more stable when you're closer to the ground (i.e.: minimalist shoes).  The higher off you are, the more "wobbly" you'll become.  Just go take a look at minimalist shoes (be it Saucony Hattori or NB racing shoes or Mizuno whatever the name--Musha or whatever, or ASICS Piranah) vs. "stability" shoes.  Compare how different they are in thickness of the mid-/out-sole.  The very reason why they need those "stability" devices is because they are so thick and so high up that the shoe needs some stability.

                   

                  Also, if the shoe is so bulky and klunky, which most stability shoes are, then whatever the surface that you land would be it--your body cannot alter it.  In other words, you are running on one side of the road and the road is slanted, your body cannot alter the angle but those shoes would force your foot/ankle to be locked at that angle, putting tremendous amount of pressure on your ankle joint, knee joint, hip joint...  

                   

                  Actually there's one more reason.  So if you have weak spot, assuming the cause of hyper-mobility, as I assumed, is weak muscle structure, wearing bulky stability shoes means locking all the joints and ligaments in whatever the position the shoe will force your foot to be in.  One of the benefits of minimalist shoes, or barefoot running, that people claim, is that it strengthens your legs and feet.  By wearing so-called stability shoes, you are making already weak musculatures weaker by locking all those muscles and ligaments.  There's a reason why a foot has so many joints and muscles and ligaments.  If they don't need to function or move around, then the whole structure of our foot would be more like our hip--a few joints that won't even more!  If we continue to wear those bulky stability shoes for the next 3 billion years, our feet WILL be like our hip joints!!  It's just a simple principles of "use it, or lose it".