Chiropractic Helps Hip Pain Barefoot Running Trauma

St George Chiropractor

In the past several weeks, I have seen several runners coming in to the chiropractic office with hip and pelvis injuries.  Most are training for the St George Triathlon coming up the first weekend in May.  It is common for me to see leg and hip injuries on runners as they prepare, but what strikes me as unusual this month is the number of injured people using barefoot running techniques and five-finger shoes.  I am beginning to wonder if there is a relationship between using this techniques and the hip/pelvic pain.

Hip and Pelvis pain from barefoot running.

Barefoot running shoes are thin and lightweight but do not correct for biomechanic faults in the ankle joint, leading to hip and pelvis injury.

Barefoot running is sometimes truly barefoot.  But with the number of puncture hazards and hot road surfaces, many ‘barefoot runners’ use ultra-thin shoes to protect their skin.  These shoes are light-weight and supple.  They allow the foot to flex like our aboriginal ancestors’ feet would have as they hunted down wooly mammoth or tried to escape a sabre-toothed tiger — without the risk of broken sticks or thorns ruining your run.  It sounds fun and looks really cool.

The problem I am seeing with these recent injuries is that the patients don’t have proper ankle support or alignment to begin with.  They cast aside their supportive shoes and orthotics and go au natural.  If a patient has significant hind-foot pronation, they can do damage to the ankle, knee, hip and pelvis as they run.  The repetitive axial compressive load on the weight bearing joints causes a cumulative trauma injury resulting in bursitis in the hip and groin.  Look at the images below.  They are of the same patient.  You can see how custom orthotics dramatically improve the structure of the foot.

If you are running and experiencing hip or pelvis pain, run to our office and get evaluated for custom-fit orthotics and see what a difference proper alignment can make in your run.

Dr. Andrew White

Pronation of the foot leads to injury in runners

Note the lines, they should be straight and in the mid-line. This is hind-foot pronation, a problem of the ankle.


Orthotics help protect a runner from injury

Custom orthotics helped this person maintain proper ankle alignment.

Featured image courtesy of Stuart Miles and

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One response to “Chiropractic Helps Hip Pain Barefoot Running Trauma”

  1. Great post Dr White. It seems as though you’ve got a lot of
    knowledge and experience with this kinds of injury. The people
    of St George are lucky to have you!