Few things ruin a run quicker than a nagging pain that slows you down and forces you to cut your route short. No one likes doing something that causes pain. Running injuries are not only caused by running, but also make it difficult and uncomfortable to keep running. You don’t have to give up the sport for foot or ankle pain, though. The right care repairs the damage and eliminates the pain.
Good Exercise Can Still Hurt Feet
Running injuries are common among people who pound the pavement, whether they hit the trail once a week or once a day. You don’t need to be a fast marathoner to develop an injury, either. You could be a casual jogger and still develop discomfort. Running is great for the body, but it also puts high levels of stress on the lower limbs. Eventually the repetitive hard impacts can take a toll. Your feet become overworked and strained. Biomechanical issues or poorly-fitted footwear can contribute to painful injuries, too. Your shoes, your pronation, and your stride all influence how your feet strike the ground and your body absorbs the pressure.
Specific Injuries Runners Face
While there are a wide variety of possible injuries, some specific ones are more common than others:
Plantar Fasciitis – The most common source of heel pain, this overuse condition creates a sharp ache in your heels that can reach into your arches as well.
Shin Splints – Overwork can stress the front of your shins as you run, causing a burning feeling that only increases the more you’re active.
Stress Fractures – Repetitive pounding can sometimes cause supporting bones to develop thin cracks called stress fractures. These can develop into full breaks if they aren’t properly cared for.
Tendonitis – Overworked tendons become inflamed and may thicken or swell. This causes a burning pain whenever you try to use them. The Achilles is particularly sensitive to overuse from running.
Ankle Sprains – A sudden twist from your foot landing wrong can sprain your ankle. The twist overstretches your ligaments and causes instant pain, weakness, and possibly swelling.
Blisters and Nail Problems – Skin and nails aren’t immune to running damage. Friction from shoes can rub your feet to create blisters. Banging the ends of your toes against your shoes can bruise your toenails.
Running Well and Pain-Free
The good news is that you can prevent many running injuries, and there are ways to treat the pain if it does arise. Wearing the right shoes for your needs, conditioning your feet, warming up well, and cross-training all help your body handle running without getting hurt. Once you develop pain, though, don’t ignore it. Dr. Darren Silvester and the team at Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic will carefully examine the issue and determine what caused it. Then we will help you correct the problem and get back to running without discomfort.
How you treat foot pain while running will depend on the underlying cause. You might simply need to change your shoes to more supportive, better-fitting models. Sometimes adding custom orthotics to control your biomechanics can help. Some injuries require time off from running to heal and do physical therapy. Basic RICE therapy may help as well. Only rarely do these issues need surgery to correct them.
Runners love to run and hate anything that keeps them from doing so. That’s why you need to take care of running injuries as soon as they happen. Ignoring the problem only allows the issue to get worse, which could keep you from running for a long time. Dr. Darren Silvester and the Next Step Foot & Ankle staff will help you get back on your feet and on the trail. Contact our Pleasanton, TX, office for an appointment today. Just use the web request form, or call (830) 569-3338 to reach us.