When running or jogging, we place 3 to 4 times our body weight on the ankles and feet, so it is important to keep our feet supported and strong whether we are training for a marathon or simply jogging around the neighbourhood.
Runners may experience few common foot conditions as a result from stresses placed on their feet, so here are a few tips to help you recognize and seek treatment before they keep you from staying active.
Heel pain is usually associated with a strain in the plantar fascia band or plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is the connective tissue band that holds our foot upright and forms the arch. When you start to experience heel pain, more commonly when standing after sitting a while or with the first steps in the morning, be sure to do the following:
- Do calf muscle and arch stretches
- Ice the area after extended activity ie. running
- Take anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain symptoms
- Wear supportive footwear or custom orthotics while on your feet
Shin splints are a common condition which presents in the front of the shin or medial side of tibia bone and results from stresses on the bone from the muscle responsible for supinating the foot. Increasing running mileage and intensity too quickly or abnormal foot biomechanics are common predisposing factors. If you experience this type of pain while running or during any type of rigorous exercise, do the following:
- Rest – it is important to relieve the stresses over the shin bone in order to recover, this may even mean switching to low impact activities for the time being
- Ice the area, 15-20 mins at a time
- Taping- use athletic tape to hold the musculature in place over the shin bone may help to relieve stresses, you may need to consult a medical professional is you have never used this specialized tape before
- Visit your nearest foot specialist or health professional to assess your gait/running biomechanics-you may need a different style of footwear or custom orthotics
Achilles tendonitis occurs as a result of ongoing strain at the insertion of the Achilles tendon onto the heel bone. Increasing running activities and/or jumping can create inflammation of the tendon, which is not addressed promptly, can lead to a chronic degeneration of the tendon and even rupture in some cases. If you are experiencing pain in the back of the heel with exercising, male sure you do the following;
- Rest immediately- you may need to quit running till the pain is completely resolved
- Ice the area or take anti-inflammatory medication
- Stretch those calf muscles- a tight Achilles tendon can lead to more injury!
- Visit your local foot specialist or physiotherapist if the pain persists
Ball of Foot Pain
Ball of foot pain can occur for many reasons in runners and this has a lot to do with the type of running gait they have, the footwear they use or even the terrain they are running on. If you experience pain in the ball of the foot, forefoot joint pain or numbness to the toes, do the following:
- Wear running shoes with a thicker, firmer sole- avoid flexible footwear
- Visit your local foot specialist to have your feet assessed- you may benefit from padding, custom orthotics or injection therapy
If you have any questions regarding this information or concerns about your feet while running, call us at Feet In Motion today!