Welcome to the Podiatry Arena forums

You are currently viewing our podiatry forum as a guest which gives you limited access to view all podiatry discussions and access our other features. By joining our free global community of Podiatrists and other interested foot health care professionals you will have access to post podiatry topics (answer and ask questions), communicate privately with other members, upload content, view attachments, receive a weekly email update of new discussions, access other special features. Registered users do not get displayed the advertisements in posted messages. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our global Podiatry community today!

  1. Everything that you are ever going to want to know about running shoes: Running Shoes Boot Camp Online, for taking it to the next level? See here for more.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Have you considered the Critical Thinking and Skeptical Boot Camp, for taking it to the next level? See here for more.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Have you considered the Clinical Biomechanics Boot Camp Online, for taking it to the next level? See here for more.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Have you considered the Clinical Biomechanics Boot Camp Online, for taking it to the next level? See here for more.
Dismiss Notice
Have you liked us on Facebook to get our updates? Please do. Click here for our Facebook page.
Dismiss Notice
Do you get the weekly newsletter that Podiatry Arena sends out to update everybody? If not, click here to organise this.

The Human Spring

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Dr James Stoxen DC, May 13, 2011.

  1. Dr James Stoxen DC

    Dr James Stoxen DC Welcome New Poster

    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    {ADMIN NOTE: This has been split off from the thread on Vibram FiveFingers Cause Metatarsal Stress Fractures?
    Related to this thread is: Bipedal spring mass walking sagittal plane theory and "Footwear accelerates the aging process"}

    First Id like to mention that I have done gait evaluations, joint play examinations and treated the feet of every single patient I have encountered in the last 10 years. That is because I feel that regional care goes against the laws of physics, engineering, nature and common sense. No matter where the chronic condition is in the weight bearing joints I always attempt to restore the biomechanics to as close to perfect as humanly possible. I work on my patients feet for a minimum of 5 hours and sometimes the treatments extend into the 25 - 30 hour range. I doubt any of the doctors here have ever taken that much time to treat a patients feet with their bare hands as I do.

    Now with that in mind, what I have found through this extensive experience is that the second metatarsal cunieform joint is the most commonly locked (joint play) and the third is the second most commonly locked joint in the foot.

    When the mass loads into the foot it causes a loading like a spring. The definition of a spring is a structure that deforms its physical shape, stores energy and releases this energy as it reforms back to its original shape. That is what the entire human body does at impact and the foot does the same.

    When the mass loads into the foot "spring" mechanism this spring mechanism loads the force of the landing safely as long as the spring mechanism is released, has a spring suspension system strong enough to handle the force of the landing.

    So if the second metatarsal cunieform joint is locked, when the force of the landing is taken up by the foot spring it cannot load this force into the locked spring and the force is then loaded into the released metatarsal cunieform joints until it rolls to the second metatarsal cunieform joint that is locked and when it comes to that joint it is a bang rather than a spring and that is the cause of the stress fracture.

    What you need to do is maintain the release of the mechanism so the force of the landing can be taken up by all joints of the foot so the force is distributed smoothly. You need to do a simple deep tissue palpation down to the bone on the plantar surface of the metatarsal cunieform joint to see if there is pain there. If there is apply direct pressure to the bone and hold it there while you feel this pain release. That releases the spasticity around the joint

    Then you release the joint by stabilizing the metatarsal and midfoot cunieform area and sheer the joint to release it. When you are successful it hear a click and you fill feel increased mobility.

    I run completely barefoot and Im 49 I work on my feet 16 hours a day on and off and because I take 30 minutes to release my feet prior to my runs I have never had any problems at all

    That is my advise and I hope it helps you to PREVENT possible stress fractures to the second metatarsal and other impact related injuries.

    keep running barefoot. If you think you need a shoe on your foot, wear a girdle on your stomach, buy some braces for your elbows, wrists and knees and then get a helmet to protect your head in case you drop the weights on your head

    Binding devices that alter natural motion are not acceptable in any other joint in the body so why wear them on the feet when training?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2011
  2. DaVinci

    DaVinci Well-Known Member

    Re: Vibram FiveFingers Cause Metatarsal Stress Fractures?

    I guess you missed all the evidence that running shoes do not actually restrict or control motion of the foot.

    Can you share the evidence for your claims.
  3. Dr James Stoxen DC

    Dr James Stoxen DC Welcome New Poster

    Re: Vibram FiveFingers Cause Metatarsal Stress Fractures?

    First of all the shoe has weight. A barefoot does not have any external weight attached to it. So by simple laws of physics which are acceptable to the entire scientific community (except doctors) the weight will have an effect on the movement.

    if you tie something to a structure you impart an internal force on the structure. That is accepted by the scientific community. Any device which imparts an internal pressure on any body part alters it.

    The act of tying a shoe restricts joint motion and certainly it can be proven.

    Are their any weightless running shoes? No

    Are their any running shoes which stay on the foot without imparting some form of internal force on the foot? NO

    What does not need to be challenged is the bare foot, walking or running barefoot because there are no external alterations to the natural motion of the mechanism

    If we can say that a barefoot is normal than anything that alters that model either by weight added, motion altered, external or internal forces imparted to the model must be evaluated as to HOW MUCH they alter this perfect model and what the effects are over time.

    The problem with medical science is that we think we are the only scientific body. It is as if we have to prove all of the currently accepted laws of physics, engineering, nature and common sense over again because we dont know these other sciences exist?

    What is so frustrating about medical science is that we cannot establish what normal is anymore because we have never seen normal unless we work with infants or shoeless cultures.

    If you could establish that the bare foot which has never had any external forces on it as the model for normal then we could determine how everything else effects it and how much it effects it.

    We have to use the bare not effected foot as normal and anything else that is attached to the foot, increases the temperature, decreased the temperature, blows on the foot, etc as something that needs to be evaluated for either positive or negative effects.

    The benefit to using the bare foot as the normal model is that then we can finally provide some kind of index that will help the general public to choose a shoe that will have the least effect on the bare foot.

    Then you could grade each show as to how far off normal it was. Then these effects could be revealed to the public so they could get an idea how much their feet were deformed

    What medical science should do is use the bare foot as the perfect model.
    Then we evaluate how much each shoe alters the motion of the human foot
    Then maybe we could inform the public of this so they can make better decisions about what devices they attach to their feet.

    Because we cant get by the fact that a shoe absolutely alters the natural motion of the limb we cannot get to this next stage.

    Regarding your statement.... My analogy

    Can you prove that a bowling ball dropped on the foot can cause injury to the foot? No. Do we have any evidence of this? No Well we cannot assume that it causes damage then

    Yes we can with mathematics, physics and engineering.

    Can you prove that a 15 ounce object attached to the distal limb alters the natural motion of the human body? Yes, we can with mathematics, physics and engineering.

    The problem with all of this theorizing that there is no evidence based on obvious observations is that the public looks at us as if we are lacking common sense. If we cannot get past the obvious we will never get to the level where we can really offer the general public helpful advise on how to prevent accelerated degeneration and aging of the human body. That is because we are still stuck wondering if we would get hurt if we dropped an 8 pound bowling ball on the foot because no one did a study on this to find out.

    If nutrition supplement companies make claims about supplements without scientific proof the FDA comes down on them.

    Does the medical community and the government act together to force footwear companies to prove up the claims they are making that the shoes do what they claim in their adds?

    Do you have any evidence that that running shoes do not restrict or control motion of the foot?

    If you have evidence that they do not then fine.

    What should happen is the medical community should force the footwear companies to study the effects of the footwear before they are allowed to be worn by the public. The results of these studies should be posted on the box for the public to review before determining these are a good choice.

    For sure that there should be laws preventing footwear manufactures from making false or undocumented claims on the positive effects of footwear and the bare foot should be used as the baseline model for these studies.

    That is my opinion and recommendation

    I hope you can respect my stance
  4. DaVinci

    DaVinci Well-Known Member

    Re: Vibram FiveFingers Cause Metatarsal Stress Fractures?

    All you are doing is making a nonsensical rant devoid and ignorant of the actual evidence and skirting around the question. Show me the data or stop ranting.
  5. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member

    Re: Vibram FiveFingers Cause Metatarsal Stress Fractures?

    You might be surprised James.

    When you say 2nd metatarsal cuneiform do you mean the third joint 1-5?

    How is kinetic energy released from a saddle joint? Aren't the plantar fascia and ligaments responsible for the return of energy that produces what you are describing?

    Define 'locked' please? Podiatrists tend to look at the joints of the foot in more anatomical terms. James in your opinion what effect does the transverse metatarsal arch have on your spring theory?

    What are your thoughts on foot orthoses? By the above I would infer that you don't place a great deal of merit in them (although we know as DaVinci aptly pointed out shoes are not a restraint mechanism - I suggest that foot orthoses are not either).

    I believe that the problem that "barefooters" run into in their claims is called pavement....cement, blacktop etc. were not around when man was previously unshod and like shoes they have enhanced certain aspects of our daily life and presented us with a dilemma because they are unforgiving. Shoes and tires were the answer, something to ponder..

    Looking forward to your responses,
  6. Dr James Stoxen DC

    Dr James Stoxen DC Welcome New Poster

    Re: Vibram FiveFingers Cause Metatarsal Stress Fractures?

    You know I will treat you with respect if you do the same. Data is not required to determine if a ball dropped from the top of a building will eventually hit the earth because the scientific community has already accepted that as a given. Questioning if the shoe alters the normal motion of a limb is a sign of ignorance as the evidence is proven with scientific models based on physics and engineering. You could determine the effects on a limb adding a 15 ounce shoe to it with math formulas Why dont you at least admit that it has an effect on the limb and we dont have to even say it has a negative or a positive effect.

    if you cannot admit that without extensive studies being performed then we cannot have a logical discussion here.

    I am not a proponent of the vibram 5 fingers. In fact I am not a proponent of any kind of footwear. My opinion of medical profession is that overall they overly protect the human body and therefore cause the patient to be weaker.

    Question: Do you make it a habit to insult people and their opinions regularly here in this forum?

    Ive really never been addressed with this level if insulting tone in a professional environment like this before. Do we have moderators?
  7. Dr James Stoxen DC

    Dr James Stoxen DC Welcome New Poster

    [Check4SPAM] RE: URL Attempt

    You might be surprised James.

    If there are other podiatrists who do extensive manual treatment techniques then I would like to know who they are so I can interact with them.

    What I have found clinically is the movement of the metatarsal cunieform joint is the most commonly locked joint in the foot. So if you did a joint play evaluation of the joints of the human foot the joint I find that has the least joint play of all of them is that joint.

    The way the human body absorbs the forces of impact in the landing of the foot in my opinion is one of the most important areas to evaluate for patients overall general health. So with that how does the mobility of the metatarsal cunieform joints effect these impacts. What I have found is that the most common examination finding on patients with chronic conditions related to walking mechanics is the stiffness or locking of the joint play in the metatarsal cunieform joint.

    With respect to your comment

    "How is kinetic energy released from a saddle joint? Aren't the plantar fascia and ligaments responsible for the return of energy that produces what you are describing?"

    My response is this.... If there is a metatarsal cunieform joint it should move. If it does not move when challenged then that is abnormal. If you find more patients with with medical conditions have a reduced motion or a complete lack of joint motion at the metatarsal cunieform joint it is worth looking into.

    What I feel happens is that when the foot impacts the ground the force cannot be absorbed into all of the joints when this area is locked. That increases the impact and reduces the bodies ability to spring off the ground trading this protective effect for a bang into the ground.

    I do not have any studies to back this up but I would like to do one. I have been working 16 hours a day 6-7 days a week for 6 years now and results have been extremely good. Now I would like to test what I am finding clinically with a scientific study and reveal the results to the medical community. If anyone has an ongoing study or would like to work with me on this I am open to it. I am just trying to share what I have found with others so we can all get better results for our patients

    I really dont feel its necessary to insult someones post as ranting if they feel it is worth writing Thank you for your kind response, Dr Wedemeyer

    Regarding the spring theory, what it suggests is this:

    The definition of a spring is something that deforms its physical shape, stores energy during the deformation process then reforms back to its exact original shape releasing the energy

    What is it the human spring mechanism and the theory behind it?

    Since the human foot deforms its physical shape, stores energy during the deformation process then reforms back to its exact original shape releasing the energy the model we could use to define the human foot is a spring. It is not a mechanical spring yet it fits the definition of that described by the engineering community.

    1. What the theory says is that the human spring stores mechanical energy therefore it is an efficiency mechanism. A spring is a structure that deforms its physical shape. During the day formation process that stores potential energy. Then it reforms back to its EXACT original shape and releases the energy back into the mechanism. Think about a spring when you squeeze it down the stores energy and when you let it go that releases that stored energy.

    2. The human spring also provides the protective mechanism for the body. It is the principle mechanism that absorbs forces of the landings during foot to ground impact activities such as walking, running, activities like dance and sport. The human body impacts the ground 3.6 million times a year. The human spring absorbs the force of these impacts of the landings and protects you from these collisions.

    If the way the foot deforms its physical shape is through joint motion then all joints should have normal joint play in the human foot to allow maximum deformity of the spring mechanism. If any joint in the human foot is restricted then it will not allow the foot to deform to its maximum capacity.

    This saddle joint must move for the foot to have safe loading of the forces of impact.

    Therefore we can use these definitions to discuss deformities like herniated discs and bunions


    There are two mechanisms that allow spring to happen at floor one:

    Number one, the configuration of the arch with the 26 bones and the ligament attachments.

    Number two, the spring suspension system which is composed of the muscles and tendons that attach on the under surface of the arch.

    Hookes Law of Physics
    There is a law that applies to the spring mechanism that dates back in the 1700s. It’s called Hooks law. Hooks law of physics states that the deeper the spring mechanism depresses, the more energy it recycles back into the mechanism. It is important for many reasons:

    1. If we can take 3.6 million steps per year but with a spring mechanism that is able to get deeper depth you can protect the body better from high force impacts.
    2. With a spring that can take deeper impacts, you can have higher force impacts which means we can go from walking to running easier. This is because it’s one to two times body weight for walking in 3 to 5 times body weight for running. With an intact deep spring mechanism we are still safe at these higher impacts. The idea is to have a stronger spring suspension system. And human spring mechanism so that running is not difficult or damaging to the human body as well as it is more efficient.

    Elastic Deformity of the Human Spring is Anti-aging
    There is another important physics/engineering concept which applies to this new model and that is called elastic deformity. I is a very important law because what it says is that the human spring mechanism deforms as physical shape, stores the energy, and returns back to its exact original shape. Therefore, it maintains the same energy recycled through each step or impact. The other factor is that regardless of age with no deformity of shape over millions of impacts maintains the ability for our bodies to protect you from the landings for an entire lifetime. This is as long as it returns back to its original shape after deformity.

    Plastic Deformity of the Human Spring is Accelerated Aging
    Plastic deformity happens when the spring deforms as physical shape and does not return back to its original shape. Therefore it deforms permanently. This can happen with one impact or through millions of impacts or deformities over years.

    An example of this happening with one impact is an acute herniated disc
    An example of this happening with millions of impacts is a bunion.

    A Weak, Stiff or Locked Spring Causes Accelerated Aging
    If your spring is weak, deformed, or locked the body moves with abnormal movement. When you move with abnormal motions your spring further deforms.

    An abnormal movement is a movement pattern that is outside of the normal movement pattern of the original engineering design. The human spring plastically deforms and this deformity is irreversible. Therefore, you will reduced potential capacity for energy recycling and reduced capacity for protection from the impacts. This causes an acceleration of the aging process as the mass of your body is impacting with the earth with more and more abnormal motion. This is what we call accelerating of the aging process. It leads to increased fatigue or decrease performance, a lack of balance, agility, and coordination.

    With respect to orthotics I chose not to use them in exchange for hours of work releasing the muscular spasms from the surrounding joints and mobilization of the 33 joints of the region. I have found that the foot can absorb greater impacts if it can load deeper and spread the force of the landings across a more mobile joint complex. Muscle spasms can never be considered normal. So no one can dispute that reducing the muscle spasms around the human foot causes a negative effect on foot biomechanics.

    Would you say that an orthotic would increase the capacity of the human foot to absorb more force or removing the stiffness from the 33 joints of the human foot would increase the capacity of the human foot to absorb more force?

    The next step AFTER all normal motion has been restored is to strengthen the spring suspension system with strengthening exercises. The final step is to strengthen the ability for the body to absorb impacts. The only way to increase the foots ability to absorb impacts is to have it absorb impacts of increasing amounts of force in all ranges of motion the foot moves. This is the standard protocol accepted in training.

    No Supports To The Human Spring
    As children we enjoy living a barefoot lifestyle. We are essentially pain free, we spring back quickly from injuries and have boudless energy. It is at this time when we get our first pair of shoes. We resist them by kicking them off only to see our parents put them back on. We eventually heed our parents commands to put on shoes. They want us to be like them.

    Four Supports For The Human Spring
    Shoes provide supports to the two sides of the heel through the heel cup so with 2 feet to support on either side we have four total supports supporting our human spring.

    Cushions To Isolate The Human Spring From Nature
    After our body goes into a chronic pain state, the doctor or the trainer prescribes cushioned shoes to protect us from impacts.

    Six Supports For The Human Spring
    When our arch spring support system weakens we do not strengthen it, we support it. We recommend an arch support or an orthotic. Unlike other braces or supports which are worn for a minimal period of time until we can get the area strong enough to stand on its own we consider this a permanent brace our patients have to life with for the rest of their lives.

    Deeper Confinement For The Human Spring
    After we get weaker and less able to support ourselves we recommended orthopedic shoes to put the foot deeper in the support mechanism of the shoe.

    Seven Supports For The Human Spring
    We start losing her balance and we start losing our agility and coordination get weaker we are recommended a cane. That’s now seven supports.

    Ten Supports For The Human Spring
    When were still out of balance with the cane so we recommend a four-prong walker for the patient.

    A Wheel Chair To Support The Human Spring
    As we lose the ability to walk with the four-prong walker than were moved to the wheelchair. It’s safer.

    A Bed Supporting The Human Spring And Isolating It From Nature
    When being in a wheel chair becomes difficult, we become bedridden.

    The reverse of this allows us to walk indepandantly of all braces or supports. We should work the opposite direction to allow patients to function the way they were designed without supports.

    Thank you for responding in a professional manner to my thoughts

    My mother used to say "If you cant say anything nice dont say anything at all"

  8. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

    Re: Vibram FiveFingers Cause Metatarsal Stress Fractures?

    I will later split the last few posts into it's own thread. Just busy today sitting in the compulsory CPR update - love the iPad
  9. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member

    Re: Vibram FiveFingers Cause Metatarsal Stress Fractures?

    James as colleagues I would ask you to call me David or Dave please.

    Would you be as kind as to answer the previous questions before we move on?

    When you say 2nd metatarsal cuneiform do you mean the third joint space or the second and are you counting the navicular as a cuneiform? I ask because you could just call this finding Lisfranc dysfunction, unless of course you're referring to the lateral cuneiform??

    (I have a very good reason for asking James)

    How is kinetic energy released from a saddle joint? Aren't the plantar fascia and ligaments responsible for the return of energy that produces what you are describing?

    (I feel that this mechanism has been described previously by noting that the foot changes from a mobile adapter to a rigid lever for propulsion but I question the Lisfranc articulations as a spring?)

    Locked how? Is the joint subluxated? Are we concerned with dorsiflexion, plantarflexion, what range of motion or closed packed position are you describing and finding 'locked'?

    How would this affect the transverse metatarsal arch and how would that effect the spring?

    Theories are great James but you really should try to answer these few simple questions before we discuss the entirety of your theories please. This is an academic forum for podiatrists, many of whom do perform research or are clinicians and who have a grasp of biomechanics that might surprise you as much as their pedal manipulation and mobilization skills ;)

    As a colleague I am letting you know that you won't find much sympathy for what you are claiming without some level of proof, papers, research something at all other than your claims or experience. Fair enough? :D

  10. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member

    Re: Vibram FiveFingers Cause Metatarsal Stress Fractures?

    Admin thanks. I believe that there was a previous thread on the Human Spring?
  11. efuller

    efuller MVP

    Re: Vibram FiveFingers Cause Metatarsal Stress Fractures?

    Some of the Doctors on the arena know quite a bit of physics.

    If we were to define restriction of movement as there will be less movement then there is a flaw in your argument. Yes there will be greater inertia with the shoe, but there will also be greater lever arms. So, there is no way to predict if the motion in the shoes will be faster or slower. There was one study that showed that the lateral flare of the shoe increased, the velocity of pronation increased.

    As to your mechanical analysis. Typically internal forces are defined as forces within the structure in question. In the discussion above it appears you are defining the structure in question as the foot. So, the shoe would be applying forces external to the foot.

    You also seem to assume that the shoeless "natural" foot is always better than the shod foot. If the goal is to run fast then that would not seem to be the case as elite runners all choose to wear shoes for races.

    Barefoot runners get injured just as shod runners get injured. Natural is not necessarily better.

    Speak for yourself.

    Define normal. Why do we need to establish a normal to examine the foot. If a person is injured we don't need to know what the normal foot is. We need to know how to reduce stress on the anatomical structure that was injured for that patient.

    Different feet are different. One shoe will make different alterations in different feet. Understanding what makes feet different will help us choose which shoe, or whether to go unshod.

    The study that I mentioned on lateral shoe flare showed that changing the shoe will change the velocity of pronation. The case can be made that shoes can make the foot move more.

  12. efuller

    efuller MVP

    Re: [Check4SPAM] RE: URL Attempt

    "Locked" is not a term of physics and engineering. It is a term used by medical professionals who do not understand physics. Stiffness or amount of deformation divided by the force applied is the engineering term.

    You are making the assumption that foot behaves as a perfect spring. I don't think this is a good assumption. More on this below.

    Are you familiar with the Van den Bogart and Nigg study that examined the impacts of landing during runnnig? They showed that most of the impact is absorbed by knee flexion. They also implied that the shank and foot impact is somewhat different than the whole body impact.

    So, the impact is absorbed by the "spring" of the knee. However, this is not really a purely elastic spring. It is more like a dashpot. That is the force of the landing causes the knee to flex. The muscle force slows knee flexion. The muscle force is not purely elastic and most of the energy of the inpact is lost as heat. So, it does not really function as a spring.

    The same is true for the foot. As the foot hits the ground there are multiple joints that can move in response to that loading. The vast majority of those joints are spanned by the intrinsic muscles of the foot. If one of those joints has no motion, then motion in the other joints can still allow arch flattening that will be resisted by the intrinsic muscles of the foot. They will function as the knee does, in that the energy of the impact will be lost as heat.

    In an academic debate on scientific theories, you will have to say things that are nice. It's not nice to disagree, but disagreement is important in obtaining wisdom.

    James, in some of your earlier posts you implied the collective medical community did not understand physics. It may not have been intentional, but that offended me and possibly others on the arena and may have been in part responsible for the "welcome" you received. Another part of your "welcome" may be from the problems with your spring theory and your tone in presentation. It comes across as I work hard and I have a theory that is correct. Some of the others who have presented theories on this forum have just stuck to their guns and not listened to or responded to criticism of their ideas. When you don't respond to questions or criticisms and complain about your treatment, you will lose credibility with members of the arena and soon anything you say will be disregarded whether or not it has any value. James, the choice of type of response to these criticism is yours.

  13. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member

    Re: Vibram FiveFingers Cause Metatarsal Stress Fractures?

    Eric I was headed down the same road with James with regard to the Human Spring concept and I remembered reading this from Shorten:

    Although there has been some popular interest in the concept of “energy return” in feet and footwear(32), the elastic energy stored and recovered in conventional cushioning systems is thought to be too small to have a direct influence on running economy(33) The mechanism by which cushioning influences running economy is believed to be a kinematic adaptation to the compliance of the shoe sole (234). Runners are thought to adapt to harder cushioning systems by adapting their running style in a manner that compensates for the reduced shock attenuation; by increasing knee flexion velocity for example (35).

    I would also imagine that did such a such Human Spring exist that the knee joints (and the hip joints & hamstrings) would play a more significant role in absorbing impact force and energy return than simply the foot or a singular keystone joint as James has suggested?

    Do you (or does anyone else) happen to have the Van den Bogart & Nigg paper that you referenced? Is it "Passive regulation of impact forces in heel-toe running ", I. C. Wright, R. R. Neptune, A. J. van den Bogert and B. M. Nigg, 1998?

    I do hope that James will return and address our questions, it will be interesting to learn how this is an anti-aging concept as well.

  14. AJM

    AJM Member

    Re: Vibram FiveFingers Cause Metatarsal Stress Fractures?

    Do you (or does anyone else) happen to have the Van den Bogart & Nigg paper that you referenced? Is it "Passive regulation of impact forces in heel-toe running ", I. C. Wright, R. R. Neptune, A. J. van den Bogert and B. M. Nigg, 1998?...

    Attached Files:

  15. Even though I have been writing and lecturing on the spring mechanisms of the human foot and lower extremity for the past two decades, and even though I have a great interest in this subject, some of the comments made by Dr. Stoxen seem a little hard for me to grasp.

    Here are a few of Stoxen's comments that stick out as being suspect or even wrong:

    Actually the numbers for peak ground reaction force are more like 1.25 x body weight for walking and 2.5-3.0 x body weight for running.

    While I agree that elastic deformation of the structural components of the animal body is desirable vs plastic deformation, animal research clearly shows that aging of the animal changes the viscoelastic characteristics of these structural components. To say that "elastic deformity (should be deformation) of the human spring is anti-aging" is like saying that perky breasts are anti-aging also. We must be careful to identify cause and effect here if we are to understand what the true nature of the aging process as it relates to changes in the mechanical characteristics of the structural components of the musculoskeletal system.

    Robert Hooke (not Hook) (1635-1703) was one of the greatest scientists of the 17th century and, if it were not for another scientist, Sir Isaac Newton, that he crossed swords with many times, Robert Hooke would probably be a much better known scientist. Hooke discovered the law of elasticity in 1660, not the 1700s, and among many scientific accomplishments, also wrote one of the first books on the microscopic structures of cells, Micrographia in 1665.

    I don't even know where to begin in my criticism of these conjectures. Trying to link all musculoskeletal pathologies of the human bipedal locomotor apparatus and the aging process to only one factor, being barefoot versus being shod, is not only fraught with error, but is almost laughable. Scientific evidence has shown that the human species has been using shoes for 30,000-40,000 years (Trinkaus E: Anatomical evidence for the antiquity of human footwear use. J Arch Sci, 32:1515-1526, 2005). This means that between 15,000-20,000 generations of our ancestors may have been shoe-wearing people that likely used shoes to protect their feet while walking, standing, working and running. To say that shoes, by themselves, are the cause of any human pathology, other than digital deformities, such as bunions and hammertoe deformities, or possibly tinea pedis infections, without acknowledging how important shoes have been thoughout history in the development of modern civilizations, and still are, to this day, to milliions of everyday people and to nearly all competetive athletes, is to risk being pigeon-holed into the category of the "barefoot zealot".....an individual that, while pursuing a course toward all things "natural", ignores inconvenient scientific facts in their blinded endeavor to promote their idea that being barefoot is one of the main cures for all the ills of the human species.
  16. Re: Vibram FiveFingers Cause Metatarsal Stress Fractures?

    Hi David this also comes back to that Leg stiffness (kleg) we were discussing last year.
  17. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member


    Your timing couldn't have been any better. I read the entire leg stiffness and bipedal spring mass walking sagittal plane theory threads yesterday. I did remember you mentioning it but to be honest I was too busy at the time to follow-up with you. I have to admit that although I understand the concepts of inverted pendulum vs. spring mass modeling, I was lost on a great deal of the threads where the math was involved.

    I am patiently waiting for James to return and field questions about his comments.

  18. Sicknote

    Sicknote Active Member

    Hi guys, just to confirm. Would I right in saying the tibialis posterior, peroneus longus & the peroneus brevis are the most important muscle-tendon complexes to develop/strengthen when referring to the "The Human Spring"?.

    Or have I missed out something just as/or more important than those particular muscle-tendon complexes?.
  19. Gastroc/Soleus complex I would say is the most important - Compression and return of energy wise for forward progression
  20. LOL. If only life were that simple, Sick. For those who don't understand the length / tension relationships of muscles I'd refer you to the work of Janda. I'll quickly precis some of it for you: you need to focus on muscle length not strength.

    Further, it's a system of inter-connections and there is no such thing as a free lunch.
  21. Sicknote

    Sicknote Active Member

    So should the focus concern more on stretching/flexibility?.

    I'm at the understanding that the more flexible you are, the less efficient you are. The stiffness isn't there for energy return from those particular muscles in the lower limb?.
  22. I suggest you go away and digest the help you have been afforded this evening.

    Energy storage = 1/2 Kx>2
  23. Sicknote

    Sicknote Active Member

    There is so much conflicting information out there Simon from numerous sources, it's sometimes very hard trying to pin down the correct answers. Your opinion is certainly respected & appreciated.

    One source states "the more flexible you are, the less efficient you are" (so place less focus on muscle length & more on muscle strength) but it seems strange someone like Usain Bolt places great emphasis on stretching & being very flexible (over the majority of other elite sprinters).
  24. As Eric intimated, there's more to being an elite sprinter than elastic energy storage in tendons and ligaments. In the case of Bolt, a huge stride length clearly helps.

  25. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member

    Im going to add quads and hamstrings to that Michael, at least with regard to ground contact and stance phase forces.

    I'd like to see anyone substaniiate that. Flexibility inceases strength. Are you thinking of laxity in the joints opposed to flexibility?
  26. Sicknote

    Sicknote Active Member

    With the elastic energy storage contributing significantly to that huge stride length.

    With a big dollop of gluteal's?.

    Your probably right David. Again, so many conflicting sources.
  27. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member

    I believe the main function of the gluteals during running is to stabilize the pelvis, so no. Confusing and fun isn't this?

    At any rate getting back to James' premise I disagree with a LOT of the human spring theory. I believe that he is sincere but incorrect. He has insinuated physics and physical laws into a theory that does not focus on the correct structures, the primary ones, that absorb forces and redistribute them as Eric has aptly pointed out. Further blend that into the concept that somehow this theory relates to "anti-aging" and I for one am just lost.

    We all know that being sedentary and/or physiologic dysfunction (the "locked joint" that James refers to) can lead to alterations in joint and body motion, loss of strength, flexibility etc... but does it cause "aging"? Aging of what and over how long? I'll go out on a limb and bet that sedentary people exhibit less degenerative changes in the joints than very active ones.

    Are we really "human springs" when we walk or run?

    Its a shame that he won't come back and defend this theory.
  28. Sicknote

    Sicknote Active Member

    I would say a resounding yes.

    I was watching a documentary on centenarians & the keys were a great diet & continuous activity levels in all those individuals. I think the key to healthy joints is too look after yourself internally (with foods that feed the joints) & keep yourself mobile throughout your entire life.

    This won't be the case in people who drink a lot of alcohol, smoke, poor dietary habits etc as these slow down, poison, dehydrate the whole body etc to great extents.

    My spring has certainly increased since I started training. I think the key in terms of "spring" actually lies in the elasticity of the tendons & not the muscle. This is what we also find in the animal kingdom.
  29. Sicknote

    Sicknote Active Member

    Considering it's the biggest muscle in the body, how much function do you believe it plays with regards to propulsion?.

    Surely this is the main function of the glutes? not pelvis stabilization.
  30. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member

  31. I truly believe there is a lot in leg stiffness discussions , but I only made it to 7 min ish

    wowsers everyone has their bias but James has more than many
  32. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member

    First, IMO he has renamed the Spring Mass Model and added bits and pieces, with a huge dollop of barefoot sprinkled in Michael. I asked him some new questions in a chiropractic forum. His answers should be entertaining.


    Attached Files:

  33. I can?t get the image to increase in size to a point where I can read it can you Copy and Paste ?

    PS happy new Year David
  34. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member

    Let's see if this works? My contention is that he simply borrowed from an already existing theory, applied the whole barefoot thingy and made the leap to anti-aging and all without documenting it that I have seen so far.

    Not to mention the previously unanswered questions about the locking/unlocking of the second met cuneiform joint as the key to global loss of this alleged spring mechanism...and then the leap to anti-aging, it is all over the map IMO

    Happy New Year to you as well Mike.


    Attached Files:

  35. Locked himself in a library for four years and read 50,000 pages of research?!....now his theory is almost impossible to debunk??!!

    All I can say to this type of self-promoting hogwash is .... what a crock of ****!
  36. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member

    I'll take that as an admission that what he encountered here in the past did in fact debunk his claims. Had he spent his time wisely reading the current literature, he would have found that barefoot is essentially dead and Blickhan already proposed the Spring Mass Midel circa 1998. It would have saved him from devoting time to write a series of books on the Human Spring Model to treat thoracic outlet syndrome etc (you can't make this up)

  37. Spring mass model has been around a lot longer than that.
  38. Blickhan's orginal paper on the spring-mass model was from 1989, not 1998 (Blickhan R: The spring-mass model for running and hopping. J. Biomech. 22,1217?1227, 1989.)
  39. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member

    Simon and Kevin, I blame dyslexia. 1989 not 98. Terminal hair splitters :D
  40. I've always thought that getting your facts straight, especially when having a debate with a peer on a public forum, makes one look much more intelligent than getting your facts wrong.;)

Share This Page