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Mark Lin, a leading sports podiatrist hopes to make women more aware of the importance of gait and the way they use their feet when running. He says that awareness is especially important in female athletes since they are more prone to lower limb injuries than men.

Although it has long been known that female runners are more prone to lower-limb injuries than male runners, the exact reasons for this were unclear. But in July this year, [researchers published the results of a study that might indicate just why female runners are more likely to get hurt](

It confirmed the suspicions of sports podiatrists like Lin: Men and women coordinate their foot joints differently, says Lin, and this is unsurprising because the centre of gravity also differs. As a result, foot and ankle injuries are also more prevalent in women.

Removing Barriers to Physical Activity, Maintaining Health, Enhancing Performance

Lin is concerned about the [high incidence of young people, particularly young women, dropping out of sports]( and avoiding physical activity. There are several barriers to sports participation that women face, including confidence issues, but Lin worries that the tendency towards injury could have a role to play too.

If youre inclined to get hurt when you perform a certain activity, youre going to start avoiding it, he says. You might not be put off the first time it happens, but if it keeps happening, youre going to quit.

The health implications in the overall population could be far-reaching. Ill-health and inactivity go hand-in-hand. If you dont get moving often enough, you start losing muscle. Muscle helps to support your body, and by avoiding exercise, you actually become more prone to injury. And, as we know, there is a lot of concern about the health consequences of being overweight.

If Foot Pain is an Obstacle, a Podiatrist can Help

When I say Im a sports podiatrist, a lot of people think of me as attending to the super-fit, says Lin. The truth is that I do see a lot of top performers, but only because theyre more likely to be aware of the benefits of podiatry in sports.

Sports podiatry, says Lin, can help anyone with foot or lower-limb issues - including women whod like to run but who have bad experiences with lower limb injuries in the past. You dont have to have a current injury. Podiatry targets the causes of injuries, so if you tend to experience them, we help you to address their cause.


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