Running on grass

Remember when you were just a child and running was simple? It was nothing more than a large open space, a tag opponent within a reachable distance, and the green grass under your feet. It’s no wonder this sense of freedom and wonderment has spurred a new type of running called the “minimalist” style. In an article titled “New styles of running require new types of shoes,” Dr. Lancaster explains this new trend and how to enjoy it without hurting your tendons and muscles.

Venture off the track and onto something new. The green grass and open trails allows for runners to feel as no terrain is unapproachable.

Getting back to basics is exactly what this style is reminiscent of. Gone are the heavy tread shoes and hard concrete surfaces.  “This [style] involves running barefoot or with minimalist footwear,” says Dr. Lancaster, a renowned orthopedic surgeon at Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute Beaches. “The five finger-type shoe features individual toes that are separately covered, allowing greater flexibility when running.”

Although this type of running brings on more of a sense of adventure and fun, it does come with its precautions to avoid injury.

“This type of running is similar to running in the sand and will stress the calf muscles more, as well as the small individual muscles of your toes and feet,” says Dr. Lancaster. His advice is to exercise or stretch “the foot and toes through a complete arc of motion repetitively [to] minimize the strain experienced.”

An Interview with Running Coach Paul McCrae

Paul McCrae – Founder and Personal Coach at Personal Running Solutions in Jacksonville, FL

History of your running experience – how long have you been running, any important races that you’ve placed in.

Paul has competed for 15 years as a professional runner both internationally and nationally. He was selected to represent his native home, New Zealand in World Mountain Running Championships in the 1993, 2001, and 2004. He also earned a position on the New Zealand’s Oceana Championships team in 1990. He has earned many local achievements, which included winning the 2005 Jacksonville Track Club Male Athlete of the year. Paul is regularly on the podium for winning many of the local road races in Jacksonville. He has also been as high as second in the Jacksonville Bank Marathon when he set his personal best of 2:27:50.

Paul was part of WSC’s National team, which competed in four consecutive NCAA Division II cross-country championships, a first at any division at the NCAA Championship. WSC finished as high as 7th during the 2003 season. One pivotal achievement at WSC was his third place in the 5000m. Paul shares this NCAA Division II Indoor honor with his WSC teammates who finished first through sixth.


Lifetime Personal Records:

•             Mile – 4:05

•             5K – 13:57

•             10K – 28:53

•             1/2 Marathon – 64:35

•             Marathon – 2:27:50

What is some good advice you provide about staying injury free:

People need to realize it’s not just about the training but also what you put into your body and how you take care of yourself. Running and training is only a small part of the picture. I recommend watching things like sleep, how old your shoes are, how hydrated you stay, the clothes you wear to workout in, the use of sports massage, the food you put into your body.

How do you personally stay injury free:

Sometimes staying injury free is more about knowing when to push through a run or workout and when to stop and rest. More often than not this is the best reason to get a coach. Their job is to make sure they notice when you need to take it easy or push through. Most of us aren’t self aware enough to do this alone.  And that coach can be anyone from a sports medicine doctor or a friend that can monitor your training from the outside.

Any insider tips for beginner runners?

Start with the rule, “less is always better.” Quite often new runners feel good so they push themselves too hard the first few runs and then when they get sore they wonder why they lose motivation and the desire to continue. Sometimes a running coach can help you get started without the guessing and chance of injury.

The other thing I would suggest is finding a good group of people to start out with. It helps to have like-minded individuals around who will and can motivate you and keep you on track. It also keeps the monotony of running a little less when you have other great people to do it with.

Anterior Hip Replacement Can Help Keep You Active and In Control

For active people, arthritis in the hip can seem like an unfair sentence of pain. This prospect is intolerable for many people that value their mobility. Staying active is vital to their lifestyle, or career. Hip pain, because it is right at the core of your body can leave you unable to enjoy the basic pleasures of life.

Thankfully, there is an option for those people that have been plagued with this painful affliction. It is called anterior MIS or Minimally Invasive Surgery. This is not the same as the type of procedure required after a traumatic hip injury, with strict restrictions on movement throughout the rehabilitation process. This is a hip replacement surgery that is done by going through the front (anterior) as opposed to the side or back.

Comparing Anterior Minimally Invasive Surgery and Traditional Hip Replacement

Anterior hip replacement allows for removal of the hip without detaching gluteal muscles from the femur or pelvic bones. By working between the natural separations in the muscle groups, the surgeon can remove your old hip and put in the new one. This process is much less traumatic than other forms of hip replacement surgery, and allows patients to be up and around after a much shorter rehabilitation time. Where lateral and posterior hip replacement procedures require 6 to 8 weeks of immobility to allow re-attached muscles to heal, anterior hip replacement encourages a full range of movement right away.

Who Should Consider Anterior Hip Replacement?

Arthritis sufferers, those who have chronic inflammation, or ongoing joint pain are certainly viable candidates. Gout patients, with joints damaged by purine deposits, even those confined by limited motion should look at anterior hip surgery as a solution. Now, because of the popularity of this type of hip surgery, other types of hip replacement have been relegated to injuries and situations where options are limited. This is representative of the advancements in both methods and the materials used over the last ten years. Often the only exterior scar is as small as 4-5 inches, easily covered by undergarments.

Mobility is often the key to maintaining your health. It is certainly the most important component to exercise, socializing, vacationing and so many of the activities that people associate with having an enjoyable life. If your hip pain is the only thing that is keeping you living to your full potential, give us a call. Our orthopedic surgeons at JOI Beaches can look at your specific situation and see if anterior hip replacement can offer a solution for you.

A Run with a View

If you’re a runner in Jacksonville, Florida, it’s hard to resist the temptation of the beach run. The cool summer breeze and misty ocean waves inspire many runners to venture off the paved course and try their luck on the uncharted sand.

Whether you’re on the soft sand or hard pavement, it’s important to be aware of how the change can affect your joints and muscles.  Dr. Stephen Lancaster, a prominent doctor and member of the Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute Beaches team, was asked to provide his insight on the transition from hard to soft running surfaces to the Times-Union Jacksonville.

An Enjoyable Jaunt by the Sea

Ever have a dream you’re running in place? Running in soft sand is most comparable to that irritating feeling. Your body will move slower, you’ll feel more strain on your calf muscles and lower extremities. To make the most of your beach run while still protecting your joints and muscles, it’s important to mimic the hard surface as much as possible.

In the article, “New styles of running require new types of shoes,” Dr. Lancaster says, “Before setting out on a running program in the sand, you may want to consider additional exercises and stretches for your calf, as this will be different from your street running … If you run on the hard sand near the waterline, you may not experience a significant change in your running style.”

Running on the beach is a luxury that all Jacksonville athletes can take advantage of. To learn more about the right way to make the most of your time on the beach, contact our orthopedic doctors today for helpful hints to stay active and injury free.

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