My wife and I just recently enjoyed a long weekend in the mountains full of skiing/snowboarding, sleeping in, and wishing we had a condo near the slopes. Part of that weekend included a visit with Dr. Ivo Waerlop at Summit Chiropractic in Dillon, CO. I went in hopes of 1) getting help with my sore left Achilles tendon that’s been bothering me for months, and 2) get some of his thoughts on barefoot running. The visit was very helpful and enlightening.
Dr. Waerlop was featured in a Denver Post article on barefoot running. My wife looked up his web site and it grabbed my interest. Dr. Waerlop is involved in the biomechanics of cycling, running and skiing (three things I love), and he’s involved in barefoot running. In fact, he’s a biomechanics advisor for Vibram. He’s also an accupunturist.
I won’t go into every detail but his asessment of my gait was very precise and his explanations very thorough. He assessed my feet, legs and trunk; observed my gait; and presecribed several exercises for me plus a sole lift for my shoe.
Most importantly we focused on attending to the causes of my problems (faulty biomechanics in the feet and toes) rather than the symptoms (pain in the Achilles–oh yeah, and my low back and my left shoulder).
He also advised me on barefoot running. I probably won’t ever be a full-on barefooter but I likely will be doing some barefoot running in the near future. (Gotta take it slow!)
There’s more. Dr. Waerlop is part of the Homonculus Group. (What is the homonculus? Excellent question. Click on the word to find out.) This is a group of physicians and sports performance/injury rehab professionals who are “committed and driven to better understand the problems of pain and movement impairment in this world (basically the aches and pains that ail individuals.)” The Homonculus site is rich with podcasts, articles and discussion threads (though it appears their discussion board has received a lot of spam which should be removed. Go to page 1 of the discussion board for legitimate information.) Finally, Dr. Waerlop is one of the Gait Guys whose lectures on gait assessment are found at Youtube.
I am very excited to dig into the articles and podcasts. If you’re a trainer, coach, or injury rehab professional–or if you’re just a fitness geek with some spare time, I highly recommend you investigate some of this material. I can’t get enough of this stuff!!!