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09/06/13

Finding Your Footing -- The Right Shoe Could Be Difference Between Excelling And Injury

The running joke of the 2013 NFL football season is no longer the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars or the circus show in New York with the J-E-T-S but rather a common line uttered in broadcast booths or written in newspapers around the country
"Who is this Lisfranc and why is she injuring so many of our NFL players?"
OK, so Lisfranc isn't a woman and what started as laughable question has transformed into a rash of injuries across the NFL with one player after another succumbing to this now-common football injury that has various teams across the league scrambling to replace superstars.
Suddenly, no one is laughing anymore.
Lisfranc isn't a new injury per say but rather one that has existed for quite some time, although the actual injury has become increasing prevalent in recent years in sports. For those keeping score at home, a Lisfranc injury, to put it simple, is when one of the five, long bones in your foot detaches or is displaced from the tarsus (the middle part of your foot). This detachment typically occurs when something heavy falls on your foot or, in terms of sports, a sudden rotation of the foot occurs.

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The explanation of why so many NFL players specifically have fallen victim to this injury seems to lie within the aforementioned reasoning as to what causes the Lisfranc issue. You don't have to be a physical therapist or doctor for that matter to know that when a 300-pound linebacker lands on a 195-pound running back or wide receiver that something bad might happen.
But still, blow-by-blow, hard-hitting accounts are NFL commonplace and have been happening for the better part of 30 years so it's hard to point to the trials and tribulations of typical Sunday afternoon as the pertinent cause of all this Lisfranc talk.
More recently, a former and recently retired NFL player Tiki Barber barked out a new Lisfranc theory, one that seems to be gaining some credibility and doesn't sound quite so far-fetched.
What about the players' shoes? How have they changed in recent years?
For all his avoidance over the years to getting tackled, this former running back may have hit this Lisfranc debate run on the head.
As much as technology has made running shoes, sneakers and cleats sleeker and more streamlined, perhaps the onus shifted from practical to pretty or from durable to decorative. Doctors who treat Lisfranc or foot injuries in general would argue that a cleat is too flexible to support the kind of activity perpetuated by a person within a major sport.
And for those who aren't chasing down quarterbacks for a living and simply make it a point to hit the gym or go for the occasional run, you're not immune to foot injuries of this nature either. Between not replacing running shoes or wearing worn-down sneakers as part of your workout routine, poor footwear is hardly a fallacy as far as injuries are concerned.
Frank Musumeci can attest to that as someone who has worked with the NFL and the general public and is a foremost voice for proper footwear. Musumeci served as a physical therapist for NFL teams but now works for the renowned and well-received Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa in Miami, Fla., which deals in all things related to motivation and preventative care in all health facets with a superb focus on footwear as it related to injury and subsequent exercise.
A little education regarding proper footwear goes a long way to eliminating injures -- from the dreaded Lisfranc to a simple sprain -- and turning this would-be slippery slope into nothing but smooth sailing.
Pretty soon, the next question will be "Lisfranc Who?"

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