Claremont Road Runners at the Newcastle Foot Clinic

We were offered a free talk by Newcastle Foot Clinic and a number of us attended after training on Monday. Dave Kear summarised it in the following report:

After a brief introduction from Craig Burton, Evelyn McGee proceeded to give a very interesting talk to 14 Claremonters who were sat around in a cosy ring at the Newcastle Foot Clinic after the club session on the evening of Monday 13th November.

Evelyn, who specialises in lower limb rehabilitation, tendinopathy and running injuries, had only recently joined the NFC team, and she explained firstly how she had managed to self-diagnose and recover from a very serious ankle injury 3 years ago.

Evelyn was happy to address the topics of achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis problems, having been encouraged to deal with these subjects by members of her attentive audience. We were told that ‘shock wave therapy’ has emerged as a particularly successful treatment for plantar fasciitis.

“Shock wave therapy is thought to work by inducing microtrauma to the tissue that is affected by these problems. This microtrauma initiates a healing response by the body. The healing response causes blood vessel formation and increased delivery of nutrients to the affected area. The microtrauma is thought to stimulate a repair process and relieve the symptoms of pain.”

In more general terms, Evelyn was of the opinion that the role of rest in recovery is often over-emphasised. She said that ideally she would like to see and treat an injured runner within 2-3 days of the manifestation, though she admitted it was invariably the case that they would only seek help once the problem had become chronic.
Stress fractures she said were often the result of poor running technique, though she added that there is no ‘one way’ to run, and the matter had to be dealt with on a very individual basis. Although it was difficult to make major changes, it was nearly always possible to make significant improvements. Interestingly, she also offered the opinion that ‘recreational runners’ who did not suffer any problems should not be encouraged to alter their running style.
Another aspect of running she thought had been over-emphasised was types of running shoe. But she warned that switching from a regular heel-strike shoe to a minimalist type of racing shoe was very likely to induce an injury.

Throughout her talk, Evelyn stressed the benefits of glute-strengthening exercises, weight training and hills work, especially for ultra-endurance events. Nina and Kat were then invited to demonstrate hip flexor exercises under Evelyn’s guidance.

In conclusion, Evelyn recommended a number of sites to follow on Facebook & Twitter before we all then left the premises with a goodie bag in hand.

  • The Running Physio for Greg Lehman (for body mechanics)
  • Dr Christian Barton & Dr Peter Malliaras – both of Complete Sports Care (in Camberwell)

Many thanks to Nina Jensen for arranging a fascinating and instructive talk – and watch out for her ‘enhanced’ boot camp sessions at the club in the future.

Tom Tinsley -