Sports offer people from all walks of life the chance to enjoy physical stimulation, excitement, and the thrill of competition. Not only does it hone your body to its healthiest state, but it keeps the mind active and in high spirits as a result of the endorphin-inducing activity.
When it comes to running, wearing the right gear is crucial if you want to improve your performance. This applies to amputees as various sports-specific prosthetics are available at the market, all of which have different uses that cater to diverse running styles.
With that in mind, persons with amputations will need the right prosthetic component as an integral part of their athletic experience. After all, amputees also need to have the proper equipment to participate in any sport they choose thoroughly. To that end, here are the different running feet styles you can choose from depending on your needs:
Sprinting requires a prosthetic that is designed to be stiffer compared to long-distance running feet. This is because a more rigid design allows the individual to run more efficiently by having a quicker energy return and propulsion.
Long-Distance Running Feet
As the moniker suggests, long-distance running feet allows individuals to run for three miles (five kilometres) or beyond. Unlike the “J” design of sprinting feet, long-distance running feet will curve more similarly to the letter “C.”
This design can foster energy that releases more slowly at a longer time span, which is opposite from the quick bursts from sprinting feet.
Limb Length Discrepancy
Prosthetic running feet use plenty of energy using compression, which stores the power, and release, which talks about energy return. With that in mind, running using prosthetics can shorten the sides up to two inches, which can make for an awkward feeling as you run.
To offset this problem, prosthetists tend to align your running leg by adding one to two inches to your prosthetic side to make you taller.
The inward rotation of the foot when running is called a foot whip, which is caused by weak hip flexors and adductors. Through proper exercise and stretching, you can quickly strengthen this issue and ensure proper alignment. In prosthetics, foot whips happen due to poor suspension and improper prosthetic knee rotation.
Technology today expands the functionality of prosthetic feet, allowing amputees to improve their physical health and invest in sports with a wide array of prosthetic running feet to choose from. Various models serve different purposes – from running, walking, dancing, cycling, golfing, swimming, and even snow skiing.
This allows amputees to maximize their energy as modern designs can store and return some of the energy generated during running. To that end, there is no single type of running foot that is perfect for every kind of amputee. However, knowing your options will help you choose the best one that suits your needs.
If you’re looking for foot prosthesis solutions, get in touch with Lindhe Xtend to see how we can help!