Avoiding Metatarsal Stress Fracture During Running

HI everyone its Bretta Riches from RunForefoot.com and today I’m going to be talking to you about how to avoid a metatarsal stress fracture when you are learning forefoot running. Now there is a link between high plantar pressure, which is force pressure over the foot. There’s a link between high plantar pressure and metatarsal stress fractures. So if you land in a way on your foot that increases plantar pressure, so force pressure distribution over the foot this may increase your risk of developing a metatarsal stress fracture. So, im gonna discuss an easy way to completely avoid getting a metatarsal stress fracture in your stages of learning forefoot running the best way to learn forefoot running and of course the best way to avoid a metatarsal stress fracture is to do so by running an shoe that does not have very thick cushioning because i came across the study which I’ll link below this study found that running in a running shoe with very thick underfoot cushioning increases plantar pressure over the foot which will put you at a risk of developing a metatarsal stress fracture. The study found that changes in plantar pressure was directly related to changes in sensory input and one of the ways of that thickly cushioned running shoes increases plantar pressure over the foot is because these types of running shoes decreases the amount of sensory input on the feet and when you can’t feel the ground when you run your very unlikely to detect whether or not you are striking the ground on your heel versus whether you are striking the ground properly on your forefoot so when sensory input is blocked because of thick shoe cushioning this may increase the risk of having higher plantar pressure distribution over the foot which may cause the metatarsals which are the little bones that run along the top part of your foot that connect to the toes this may put these little bones at a very fragile states because of the repetitive stress. One study found that changes in plantar pressure distribution over the foot was linked to changes and plantar pressure. Now the runners ran in running shoes with very thick cushioning and because of this sensory input was low and the low sensory input was correlated with higher plan tire pressure over the foot so basically the study found a link between sensory input and plantar pressure whereby if you have low sensory input entering the feet you may have higher amounts of plantar pressure shooting through the foot when you run. Because in thickly cushioned running shoes, the feet have less sensory stimuli so this cause of the foot to stay on the ground a little bit longer when you run vs if you run barefoot there is essentially enhanced sensory stimuli that is penetrating the bottom of the foot and this causes you to pick your feet up quicker up off the ground and so because when you run barefoot this allows for a quicker interaction of the foot with the ground so there’s not enough time for plantar pressure to build up in the foot if you run barefoot Essentially cushioned running shoes makes your feet very insensitive to how the ground feels, so this causes you to develop a slower withdrawal reflex so the foot actually spends more time on the ground so this gives more time for abnormal plantar pressures to accumulate over the foot when you run in these types of running shoes and of course cushioned running shoes are very comfortable, so they mask the sensation of abnormal amounts of plantar pressure runners who wear these shoes are incapable of truly getting a feel of the hike in increased plantar pressure over the foot this is how runners who were thickly cushioned running shoes are essentially exposed to more impact because like i said the feet are less stimulated and because they are less stimulated you have a lesser chance of picking up your foot faster up off the ground and this how the foot is exposed to more impact vs if you were to run barefoot. When you run barefoot the running surface feels hard on your feet and another study which I’ll link below found that harder running surfaces resulted in less peak plantar pressures over the foot as compared with running on softer running surfaces. A good example would be running in cushioned running shoes because this makes the running surface much softer. So this is how running barefoot or running in running shoes that mimic running barefoot have advanced abilities in producing protective behavior when you run because in order to make the ground feel more comfortable on your feet when you run barefoot, barefoot runners typically have a higher step frequency that means that they get their feet up faster, they take shorter, quicker step.This is just an overall general tip that I wanted to give to new forefoot runners who are little confused as to what’s the best form of footwear to wear for learning forefoot running, so what you really want to do is avoid wearing really thick cushion running shoes because you need to be able to feel the ground to land on your forefoot properly and not only that this also helps keep plantar pressure low and hopefully you avoid getting a metatarsal stress fracture. So in summary plantar pressure is linked to sensory input. So in order to reduce the amount of plantar pressures over the feet what you really want to aim for is maximizing the proprioception which means sensory input, you want to be able to feel the ground in order to increase your step frequency, the foot actually spends less time on the ground and therefore this minimizes the amount of foot pressure and will help protect your metatarsals from developing a stress fracture. Remember what you wear on your feet determines how your feet interacts with the ground so less is definitely more when it comes to optimizing your biomechanics and protecting yourself against injury. For more tips on forefoot running and barefoot running please head on over to my blog runforefoot.com where you will also find reviews and recommendations on barefoot inspired footwear forefoot running. Have fun out there on the roads, bye for now

2 thoughts on “Avoiding Metatarsal Stress Fracture During Running”

  1. I just started "bareform" with Merrell Vapor Gloves. During my last run (five days ago) a sudden pain developed in my foot which made me walk home. This might be a stress fracture (location is 3rd metatarsal). It's getting better every day but certainly will take more time to heal. It has me puzzled a bit because I understand stress fractures develop slowly and tend to have swelling, while this was acute and no swelling at all. Just take time to recover I guess.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *