Ways to Prevent Runners’ Foot Problems

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As we previously posted, runners are at risk for foot problems such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis, metatarsalgia, stress fractures, neuromas, as well as corns, calluses, and blisters.

In this post, we provide you with some tips to prevent many of the common runners’ foot problems. Strengthening exercises, stretching, using the correct shoes, and changing your running foot strike can help reduce the risk of injury and pain. Read on for tips!

●       Toe Exercises: Big toe lifts, toe stretches, and toe curls can help strengthen the toes and protect them from the trauma of pounding the pavement.

●       Calf stretches: Put your foot against a wall and lean in or sit and reach for the toes. Doing warm-up stretches of your calves will stretch the toes, plantar fascia, and calves to reduce strain as you run.

●       Do not increase intensity (speed, duration, or incline) too quickly. “Too much, too soon” is a very real thing for runners and sprinters. This is a common way for runners to develop plantar fasciitis.

●       Reduce the impact on your feet by using cushiony, supportive running shoes. The repetitive impact can cause heel pain, and eventually knee or hip pain. The best running shoes will have breathable material, cushiony inner soles, arch support and heel support (to stabilize the feet).

●       Change your foot strike. When you run or jump, do you land on the heels or the balls of the feet? If you tend to land on your heels, you’re more at risk of hurting your posterior tibial tendon or Achilles tendon. The repetitive impact on the heel bone can also cause a bone spur to develop. Changing your foot strike to land on the balls of the feet can reduce the harshness of the impact and take the pain off the knees.

●       If you have foot pain or an injury, take time to rest. If you keep running on painful, achy, or sore feet, the injury could last even longer.

●       If your shoes are irritating your feet in a particular spot, you might want to try using pads to soften the pressure or friction against the skin. If that doesn’t reduce the irritation, you’ll want to try different running shoes that better suit your feet.

●       Keep your feet clean and washed daily to reduce bacterial or fungal problems. If your feet get sweaty during your run, make sure they dry out completely before you use them again. Otherwise, they might become a hotbed of bacterial or fungal growth.

●       Finally, keep your toenails clipped so that you don’t experience toenail pain (and possibly ingrown toenails).

Still got foot pain or problems? You may benefit from orthotics to help your feet stay in tiptop running shape! Make an appointment with us at The Podiatry Group to find the best treatment. Dr. Mark E. Reiner and his team of dedicated podiatrists can help you at our Jonesboro, AR office.