Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Big Arthritis At It Again

I’m not one to demonize a company or industry like the media has done to the harmless tobacco industry by derisively referring to it as “Big Tobacco”. Sure, like tobacco companies are trying to cook up schemes to get people hooked on their product. Riiiight. There’s no dastardly villain here twirling a mustache between drags of Virginia’s finest puffed through the skull-pipe of a recently drowned kitten. I went to a tobacco company once and they were so nice they gave me the first hit cigarette for free! So stop all of this industry bashing by using the “Big (insert industry name)” tomfoolery you Big Jerks.

No, I won’t participate in careless generalized name-calling and aspersion casting.

But I was leafing through the Daily Finance as I normally do in my free time (when my issue of Sexy Calves and Bodacious PR’s is running late) when I ran across this article ("Do Running Shoes Make Us Run The Risk of Injury?") about how our running shoes are gulp! dangerous for us to wear. A study by some eggheads with high falutin “college degrees” claims that:

Overall, the study finds that while today's running shoes do a good job of protecting the foot, wearing them dramatically increases pressure in three lower-extremity joints -- the hip, knee and ankle -- when compared to running barefoot. For example, researchers note that wearing running shoes while running leads to an average 54% increase in what's called hip internal rotation torque, pressure that may increase the risk of osteoarthritis in the hip joint.

It goes on to say in all of its fancy multisyllabic words that:

With all the runner's out there -- the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says more than 7% of the U.S. population regularly runs for exercise -- the increased potential for osteoarthritis is a big concern. There's no cure for the degenerative joint disease, the most common form of arthritis, which costs about $186 billion a year in the U.S. to treat.

In other words, our running shoes are literally giving us arthritis. I read this article and was shocked. I even did a spit take with subsequent mouth agape drooling to emphasize my level of shockedness for Mrs. Nitmos. I immediately started feeling sheepish – maybe even full scale lambish – since I’ve spent a lot of time encouraging relatives to run or, at the very least, use running shoes as regular footwear due to their comfort. I was a pawn, an unwitting shill, for Big Arthritis.

I felt used…like an empty bottle of Viagra.*

All this time, I’ve been fitting to a nice comfortable running shoe to lessen the impact to my joints. I’ve been conscience of biomechanics. I’ve openly mocked non-runners for their arthritic joints merely by running past their houses with my non-arthritic hip joints swinging easily (and seductively I might add). No wonder they always shouted “Dumbass!” at me. No wonder they threatened to “run me down with their car if I ever shit on their lawn again.”

They were trying to help me. To warn me of the dangers running is doing to my joints. In sum, to awaken me to the threat from Big Arthritis. I run. I get arthritis. Big Arthritis sells me expensive drugs to ease the pain. I’m hooked. You’re hooked. We’re all hooked on arthritis.

All of these thoughts flooded through me as I continued reading the article….until I came to the end:

One person who might be eager to talk to Brooks is Kerrigan herself. The mom of three daughters, who are also runners, is working on a shoe design that she says better responds to the natural movement of walking and running...Kerrigan isn't the only one looking to reinvent the running shoe...(emphasis added by me)

Ok. Sooooo the study from the person trying to reinvent and market a new running shoe concludes that current running shoe designs cause arthritis.

I’m not going to cast aspersions – I hate that after all – but maybe, just maybe, Big Arthritis is being set up as a faux villain to jolt runners into accepting an entirely new footwear design?

Game on. I await your move Big Shoe.

Happy trails.

*from Big Penis.


Anonymous said...

Well of course the Running Shoe industry needs the next big thing. There's still money in that there wallet.

Since I run both barefoot and shod, I can verify that for me, barefoot is less stressful on the knees. Conversely, shoes are easier on the achilles.

That being said, I honestly cannot determine what is best for me overall.

X-Country2 said...

I had the over/under on a "barefoot running" comment at 3.

Jen Feeny said...

LMAO! That lady is great... can't wait to see how she reinvents the shoe!

BrianFlash said...

I'll stay shod - but I'll keep using my comfortable broken in shoes for most of my miles. That'll be my compromise.

B. Kramer said...

Wait a minute, these new shoes look curiously like toe-socks! I also hear that your shoes will only last 20 miles before they self destruct. Cheers!

Jess said...

My mom just emailed me that article. I say psssshhh I'll keep on wearing my Mizunos thanks so much.

Running and living said...

Hm, I do research with arthritis. You can't cause arthritis, it's genetic. If you live long enough you get it, so I want to get it. Running or overuse does not cause arthritis. A fracture increases vulnerability, that that's about it. Mostly, genes determine when we get it and how strongly! Perhaps barefoot running is better, but no good study has shown that shoes cause arthritis. I work hard at correcting these misconceptions, so articles like this drive me nut!

John at Hella Sound said...

"...skull-pipe of a recently drowned kitten"
You, sir, should write children's books.

Al's CL Reviews said...

I'll keep with my running shoes. Running barefoot for me would involve hop scotch over broken beer bottles, used condoms, and some needles. Too much effort.

Jessica said...

Next thing you know Cool Max will give us cancer!

Irene said...

I have arthritis in both knees, plus I'm also at the onset of osteopenia/osteoporosis. You know what? They (docs and therapists) said NOT to stop running, but to be a bit more conservative about it, and weight train to improve the muscles to help support the bones better. Doing nothing is much worse. I also agree that it's genentic.