Dr. Kiper offers Silicone Orthotics for arch support.

Overuse Injury and Its Cause

Anyone who consistantly engages in a physical routine on an ongoing basis is vulnerable to "overuse injury". But what is it? How do you reach it? Can you stop it or at least recognize when you're about to have it? Having it happen is more than just doing more mileage, more repetition. In reality it is the use of muscles and tendons that are working harder than they should to perform the same task.

If one wanted to lift a heavy object to a second story or higher, they could use a pulley system. Provided that they were using the right pulley with the correct "mechanical advantage" (MA), anyone could lift an extremely heavy object many feet alone. Now, if that same individual decided to move a few steps to the side, and the rope fell even slightly out of the groove of the wheel, it would become more difficult to pull that rope. As one continued to move further to the side and the rope slipped off the track, it could not only become very difficult but probably impossible to lift the object any further since one would lose the MA. Muscles and tendons work this way. The correct "track" of a muscle and tendon is from its point of origin to its point of insertion in the shortest distance in its aligned form. When it has to function "off track" of its shortest distance from origin to insertion, it has to work harder, causing greater friction and irritation as it glides through its tissues. It is this buildup of inflammation that results in "overuse injury". RICE and all other forms of physical therapy are helpful in recovering. For most the PT is just an interlude till the next injury or recurrence. So now the question becomes, "what can one do to slow down or prevent the overuse syndrome (OUS). The key is in alignment/tracking. The more aligned the body is, the more efficient the musculo-skeletal system is going to work. It begins at the foot level. Anything to "reduce" pronation which has a "corkscrew effect" on the body. While "overuse" can still be reached even with conditioning and good alignment, it is harder to reach. And if you are aligned you can train harder and longer and potentially not be injured, thereby becoming stronger and faster. For individuals rarely affected by "OU Syndrome", a simple over the counter support i.e. "Spenco 3/4" length or "Gelthotic" can work well. For others who are getting more of their fair share with lingering injuries a custom orthotic is recommended.