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Orthoses for 200m sprinter

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Cavus, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. Cavus

    Cavus Member

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    What is the current thinking on the most appropriate orthoses to prescribe in spikes for a 17 year old who is a very good 200m sprinter?
  2. efuller

    efuller MVP

    Some of my own thoughts:

    Extra weight.
    Sprinting is done pretty much on the forefoot, so you would not get much effect from the heel cup of the orthosis when sprinting.

    What is the problem that the sprinter is having. I could see forefoot wedging or a forefoot off weigth pad if there was a long metatarsal.


    Eric Fuller
  3. Admin2

    Admin2 Administrator Staff Member

  4. Steve The Footman

    Steve The Footman Active Member

    I will usually modify the spike rather than make an orthotic. This is for weight as well as space issues as the fit for spikes is much tighter.

    While sprinting is on the forefoot many injuries occur while slowing down and this will have increased force as well as full foot loading.

    I have done modification removing the spike at the first MPJ and then adding a kinetic wedge.

    Most of the modifications are to deal with specific injuries and their specific mechanism of action.

    I would question the value of orthotics for performance improvement in sprinters.

  5. What would be the purpose in adding orthoses to a sprinter's spikes? What goals are you hoping to achieve by these orthoses?
  6. CraigT

    CraigT Well-Known Member

    This is the key for any orthoses....
    In addtion the sprinter will also be doinig slow reps between full sprint, run throughs and walking around the track. Remeber the full breadth of their training. You need to look at other aspects apart from full sprinting.

    If the issues he is having are when spinting at speed only, and mechanically they are quite good, then often simple wedging in the forefoot can work.
    I like the removal of the spike idea Steve...Theoretically you could raise the other spikes or add spacers under the other spikes for a similar effect

    I look after some pretty quick Nigerian Qatari sprinters- they talk about having a 'power leg' which they feel they get more drive off. One of them I found to have a R leg short LLD, and his 'L leg was his power leg'- and he hated doing 200m. With a full length lift, as well as valgus FF wedging (for some other issues), he feels more even and now finds running the bend no problem. I suggested he write to the IAAF to see if he can run clockwise around the track...:D
  7. Steve The Footman

    Steve The Footman Active Member

    I remember reading that Bill Rodgers used to have a right arm that stuck out more than his left arm. This made it difficult for people to pass him while running on the track. There are some asymmetries that could actually be performance advantages. In the case of your sprinter it was the opposite. It makes you wonder if a forefoot valgas wedge on the outside leg would be an advantage for 200M sprinters without asymmetries. It would be significant in the most important part of the sprint "during acceleration". The change in the vector of the ground reaction force to a greater mechanical advantage could reduce loses in power.
  8. Cavus

    Cavus Member

    many thanks for your responses
    This sprinter has most injuries to his left side Past injuries include Hamstrings, lateral ankle, some left hip discomfort. but these are currently resolved. He is left with a nagging pain to the medial 1st mpj which is there constantly. He has plantarflexed flexible 1st rays and FHL both feet. He stands everted in RCSP and he has tight posterior muscles. His left leg is his stronger leg. he favours tight bends

    My thoughts are to provide him with a suitable orthotic for his asics trainers which he uses for winter training ( semi rigid with a compressible post to the sulcus )which he can also use for everyday footwear. We may have him use these in his longer distance spikes as I have had good success with these in the past.
    His 100 and 200 m spikes we are leaving alone as foot function is so different in these. As far as physio and other neccessary support goes, he is now having support from a junior olympic team for the next few years.

    If there are any further help or advice I would appreciate it particularly any help in directing me to any relevant articles
  9. PF 1

    PF 1 Member


    I competed to quite a high level in 200's and 400's and have terrible feet (Very medially deviated STJ) I had to mamange them very carefully to remain injury free. Forget about using any kind of semi rigid in any type of spike (leave this for his flats etc.) I had good success with formthotics with quite a bit of forefoot varus wedging in it. Don't see why you can't try the reverse to offload his 1st MPJ if that's what you are trying to do...They fit in a spike nicely...

    I had a range of spikes with increasing levels of support/cushioning in them (ie. 400m spikes, 800-1500m spikes etc). I would only wear 100m-200m spikes to race or time trial in. The rest of the time I was in a heavier spike with the formthotic.

    Other factor to consider are training surfaces...keep him on grass as much as possible. For some, constant training on synthetic (mondo or rubber) can be murder...


    Tom Baker
  10. Cavus

    Cavus Member

    Hi Tom thanks for the advice Yes I am trying to offload his 1st MPJ. He has a very varied training schedule and is really careful about his running surfaces and he runs a fair bit on grass. Like you he now only uses his 100 and 200 m spikes for racing and some training close to events. he has just got his first pair of sponsored spikes from Adidas
    Best Wishes
  11. Jeremy Long

    Jeremy Long Active Member

    Sounds like an ideal example of when to use a 3-degree forefoot runner's wedge with a pocket accommodation for the 1st. This is a technique I use often with skill position players here in football. High school kids in the Southeast will seek almost anything to reduce injury and shave a 10th off their 40 time.
  12. Saab

    Saab Member

    Hi Jeremy , what density of EVA (im presuming) do you use for the Forefoot varus wedge?



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