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Latest Study: Barefoot running may not be better for your back

For advocates of barefoot or minimalist running, part of the theory is that landing on your forefoot when you strike the ground could lessen your risk of back pain. But a new scientific study finds that this may not be the case.

Enlisting 43 runners in a treadmill experiment, researchers from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, set out to determine whether or not changing from rearfooting (landing on your heel) to forefooting (landing on the ball of your foot) could decrease lumbar lordosis, a common trigger in back pain.

Forefooting "did not make a difference in the amount of flexion or extension in which the lumbar spine was positioned," the researchers wrote.

The results are published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

However, landing on the heel did produce more shock throughout the body, which Runner's World says could be connected to the long stride often used in rearfoot runners.

Still, people who naturally landed on their heels when running reported feeling more comfortable this way than switching to the balls of their feet. As Runner's World says, "what you're accustomed to almost always feels more comfortable than something new."

Barefoot running may not be better for your back: study


If barefoot running is not good for the back, how come a lot of runners are still embracing barefoot running? 

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