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100 Year Old Proof for Wellness Biomechanics: Dr/Major Edward Lyman Munson

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by drsha, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. drsha

    drsha Banned

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    Three years ago, Wellness Biomechanics was impacted historically when I was introduced to Dr/Major Edward Lyman Munson and his 1912 Handbook he penned for The U.S. Army by the barefoot running community.
    His Manual which was written in 1912 is now 100 years old and it represents a logical plan for creating a fit and strong society when it comes to biomechanics that is shared by Wellness Biomechanics.

    Munson penned The Soldier's Foot and the Military Shoe: A Handbook for ..., Volume 1912 exactly 100 years ago.


    Munson was an orthopedic surgeon (the first rehab medical specialist and not a surgeon in those days).

    He was commissioned to develop a boot to replace the stylish ones being worn by The American Foot Soldier so that we could win WWI.

    He developed the Munson Last Boot, still in use by The Army today which was foot shaped (minimalistic).

    He denounced arch supports as causing atrophy and disuse of the muscle engines similar to the application of a cast (the reason the barefooters love him).

    He forced all soldiers to be fit for boots by The Army because 86% of them picked boots that were too small when selected from stock themselves (the standard before Munson).

    He realized that soldiers feet had to be trained and strengthened in order to withstand the rigors of war and so he introduced “Flatfoot Camps” as mandatory training before sending soldiers to the trenches. These later became The “Boot Camps” still in place today.

    He discovered that there were two groups of draftees and enlisted soldiers that failed to complete The Flat Foot Camps for one reason or another even in Munson Lasted Boots.

    Older officers and
    Those soldiers who had “Flat Feet”

    So it was Munson who eliminated an entire group of foot types from service in The Army: FLAT FEET! Yes, it was Dr. Munson that rejected flat feet from The Army.

    He examined recruits of different ages (they were drafting 13 year olds in 1912) and came to the conclusion that the 18 year old population was the most successful training age and Munson made it the draft age which until The Army became fully volunteer, held fast.

    He also discussed all of the foot problems that he encountered while training the soldiers including a previously diagnosed malady that we moderns call insertional plantar fascitis in his manual.

    And, America Won The War!

    For me and Wellness Biomechanics, this is the bible of biomechanics created by an Orthopedic Surgeon with 100 years of clinical proof.

    Historically, Orthopedic Surgeons became more and more involved in being surgeons. Their focus and training virtually eliminated the biomechanics that Dr. Munson and his followers gifted them with that had brought their profession into the limelight.

    We all know the surgeons won out in orthopedics and that is why you have probably never heard of Dr./Major Edward Munson and his Manual until this posting. This fact paved the way for podiatry to fill the biomechanical void that Dr. Root capitalized upon in the 60’s when we were more rehabilitative as a profession.

    We are watching Podiatry repeat history as we speak, forsaking biomechanics. However, there is one difference, there was a void that needed to be filled by surgically trained orthopedic surgeons in Munson’s day but today, there are already orthopedic surgeons in place that occupy that spot in Medicine.

    It was Munson who reinforced the need for muscle engine training as an integral part of biomechanics that reinforced my sense that STJ Neutral Orthotics could never do the job alone and today this has grown into Compensatory Threshold Trianing..

    It was Munson who gave me the idea that I could could use my orthotics as a temporary a prop that made “Flat Footed Patients” more trainable, that could eventually be weaned away, if I could find a more Optimal Functional POsition than STJ Neutral. In that manner, unlike Munson, I wouldn;t have to reject Flat Feet and wait for them to become symptomatic instead, I could train them towards a healthier functional life.

    It was Munson who gave me the thought that the Optimal Functional Position to cast my patients in was the relative day that bone growth stopped since this seemed to be the "age of training". Furthermore, as this position was relative and different for each patient, I concluded that althoguh there may be others with enough training and experience to best determine OFP, that podiatry, as a profession, was best prepared to "own" the foundational piece of the posture, the foot, biomechanically.

    It was Munson that led me to invent Juvenile and Adult Tie Beam Expansion as a measure of pre-cursing, pre-existing inherited biomechanical pathology that could and should be diagnosed and treated before, during and after the clinical presentation of pain, suffering, deformity and degeneration.

    It was Munson that reinforced the conclusion that I made on Dr. Root and Dananberg, et al’s shoulders that we needed, a new starting platform. That platform should assist practitioners in determining the locations of biomechanical pathology in all feet whether “Flat Feet” or “High Arched Feet” (the rear/the front/both rear and front/neither rear or front) and hence the need for a classification system that did just that, by profiling and sub-grouping all feet into functional foot types that located weakness and strength without using exact measurements which the evidence was showing to be illogical in order to make biomechanics more practical and researchable.

    It was Munson that led me to develop the Functional foot Type Spread Test.

    Wellness Biomechanics, buoyed by Dr. Munson’s historical work and its continued success (we have dispensed 11,000,000 Munson Last Boots to our soldiers and counting) continues to evolve into a working paradigm of clinical, closed chain biomechanics.

    I suggest we celebrate and market the 100th Anniversary of Dr./Major Edward Lyman Munson and learn from his the legacy when it comes to functional lower extremity biomechanics, a legacy that best fits Wellness Biomechanics as one of the modern biomechanics paradigm.

  2. Yep - just like in Vietnam and Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Absolutely. Would be delighted to contribute to a memorail prize. Count me in.

    Attached Files:

  3. Next time....pay the dollar somewhere other than on Podiatry Arena to pat yourself on the back and spare us the nonsense....
  4. davidh

    davidh Podiatry Arena Veteran

    Hi Dennis,

    Your post was very interesting, but I really don't go for the self-promotion towards the end.

    The info about Dr Munson though?
  5. :rolleyes:

    You guys kicked BUTT! :drinks

  6. David Smith

    David Smith Well-Known Member


    Has hit a new low

    And the butt is; but there may just have been a few more countries involved in that war and about 16 million military and civilian died compared to about 120,000 US military and civilians. Maybe it was the boots that saved America or could it have been the Atlantic ocean? and the fact that America only entered the 1st world war with troops at the last knockings in April 1917.


    Also, not having the Munson book to hand, it would appear from reading history of combat boots that until the late 19th century boots were not handed, just straight lasted, The Munson 'innovation' was to make the boots foot shaped and handed left and right.

    The barefoot is better reference would seem to come from the fact that shoes were not handed and so some thought that no shoes would be better than that type of shoe.

    Have you been reading this Dennis http://www.unshod.org/pfbc/toysawfl.htm
    sounds just like your sort of stuff

  7. drsha

    drsha Banned

    You ask for proof.

    You ask for a logical progression of ideas to formulate a theory.

    You ask for references.

    You ask me to start my own threads and not "pat myself on the back" on others.

    I give you a 100 year old, 138 page reference on a thread I started AND

    In false debate, You call it a "pat on the back".......

    Do I ever get an honest response?


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