Ask the Expert: Introducing Tom & Chris – The Healthcare Professionals

Tom and Chris will be providing specialist insights and offer advice to our readers. Between the two of these experienced Healthcare Professionals, they are qualified to cover all things foot and limb related, whether it be sports injury based or an orthopaedic condition.

Meet the Experts:

Tom Cooper is a musculoskeletal Podiatrist and Clinical Director of market leading sports podiatry firm, ACE Feet in Motion. Tom has been qualified for 18 years and has been the Official Podiatrist to the WRU, Welsh Athletics, Welsh Netball, Cardiff City FC and The Celtic Dragons. In addition to running the ACE lower limb injury clinic, Tom also liaises with global brands regarding footwear design and adaptation for sports performance.


Chris Law is the consulting Orthotist and Clinical Director at The Orthotix Clinic specialising in the assessment, fitting and supply of orthopaedic supports, bracing and splints. Chris uniquely benefits from his dual qualification in both Sports & Science and Prosthetics & Orthotics and has spent over a decade running specialist orthotic clinics in the NHS.

ACE was established in 2001 and is a musculoskeletal lower limb injury clinic that specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of lower limb conditions. ACE utilises its 20-meter running track with integrated 2-meter pressure analysis system, alongside strength testing and video treadmill analysis to assess the foot, ankle and lower limb dynamically. This unrivalled facility combined with its onsite manufacturing suite enables the issue of custom prescription insoles for patients whilst they wait.

The Orthotix Clinic is a new facility that has been launched to provide the public with orthotic solutions to common orthopaedic pathologies and sports injuries. The Healthcare Professional led clinic enables assessment, fitting and supply of medically approved supports, bracing and splints, encompassing all regions of the body. Uniquely, an entire catalogue of off-the-shelf product is held on site and can typically be issued to patients during their appointments.

So, lets get into the questions..

I am currently suffering with shin splints when I run, what would you recommend?

“Shin splints in a generic term that is used frequently by patients suffering with pain in the shin. Shin splints isn’t an actual diagnoses, there are multiple conditions that can lead to pain in the shins. The most common areas of pain are in the medial (inside) lower 3rd of the tibia (shin bone) or the anterior (front) of the higher part of the tibia.

The majority of shin pain cases we see in ACE are the lower third of the medial tibia types, often caused by increased activity, load or a sudden change of surface. The advice here is to always seek help from a HCPC registered professional. We would look to accurately diagnose this condition and in the case of medial tibial stress syndrome (a common cause of shin pain) we would manage training loads, assess the foot, ankle and limb and look to introduce strength programmes, footwear advice and on occasion insoles and/or shockwave therapy.

Quick tips – increase rest between runs, introduce swimming or cycling to reduce high load exercise and look at your training footwear to make sure they are fit for purpose.

What running shoes are the best?

As you can imagine this is an almost impossible question to answer as everyone’s needs are different when it comes to running shoes. I would recommend considering things like body weight, running style, distance and what level of runner you are when choosing your running shoes. For example a 20 stone prop is likely to need something very different to a 10 stone ultrarunner. I would always recommend seeking advice from local running shops who have a good knowledge of the footwear and will be on hand to make sure the shoe fits properly.

We often get asked about carbon plated running shoes, these are very popular but are not suitable for everyone. In my opinion these shoes should be used for racing or short fast sessions and not for the long, slow fatiguing runs.


Ask your question for our next issue:

Tom Cooper / T: 02920 370674

Chris Law T: 02920 370696