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Posts for tag: Common foot problems when running

common foot probles when runningNowadays, running is one of the best outdoor activities that you can do. You can control your distance from other people and even find solitary places to go - though you should be aware of any wildlife issues. Forests known for having bears in it, for example… But it’s excellent exercise and you can help clear your mind while you’re out and about.


The running, though, if you don’t pay careful attention to your form or wear the right equipment, can exact a toll on your feet. The reasons can range from not wearing the right running shoe to taking care of your feet afterwards. This is why some runners prefer to have just completed a run instead of started one. They still know that the benefits of running outweigh the negatives.


There are conditions that you need to be cognizant of - the foot, for an appendage that is relied on by billions of people to perform a variety of duties, is surprisingly delicate. An intricate network of bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons all have to work together and if something happens to one of those, then it’s virtually impossible to use your foot until it’s healed.


With that in mind, here are some foot issues that you need to be aware of as a runner.


Plantar Fasciitis


Take a look at the bottom of your foot. There’s a tendon that runs the entire length of it - the plantar fascia. When the tendon is overused, it can cause the condition known as Plantar Fasciitis. It’s a form of tendinitis and it shows itself with a sharp, stabbing pain that you feel in the bottom of your foot when you run. As previously mentioned, this happens with overuse and not from something like improper stretching or how your running shoes fit.


Surgery is usually a last-resort option, with roughly 5% of cases needing it. Sometimes it’s just as simple as resting for a while and limiting how long you stay on your feet. It’s also better to do running on soft surfaces like grass or a rubber track, not concrete. You can do stretches and use a foam roller. Sometimes you can take medication like ibuprofen. Visiting a physical therapist may help.


Stress Fracture


A stress fracture of your bone is not something that is going to happen suddenly. It builds up over time - the crack starts off small and grows to the point where you will feel a pain in your foot. The fracture usually occurs in the metatarsals. It can be hard to tell whether you are having general foot pain or a fracture. A doctor might not be able to tell from an X-ray, either. So the best way is to have them perform a test with a tuning fork.


While your podiatrist will be able to tell you the best way to treat it, some basic things to do is rest. Keep off your feet. Apply ice to the area for 20 minutes on and 20 minute off. A compression bandage is a good idea and you should also elevate your feet while resting. You can take ibuprofen to ease any pain. See a doctor about foot pain.


Extensor Tendonitis


Plantar Fasciitis involves the bottom of the foot. This one involves the tendons that are on top of the foot - including the muscles that are in front of the shin. Look at your toes that are straight. The tendons are keeping them there. When they become inflamed, mostly from overuse, then you feel pain in that area. If you have trouble raising your toes, then this is the culprit.


Like the conditions above, the best way to treat it is rest, stretching, taking medicine like ibuprofen and following doctor’s instructions. Calf stretches may be one option. A physical therapist may be the best bet to help you get yourself back on track to feeling better.


It is aggravating to encounter these conditions, especially if you were making great strides (pun somewhat intended) with your running regimen. Don’t try to run through it, thinking that this is just something else to deal with. If you do that, then you can make matters dramatically worse.  See a doctor, preferably a podiatrist, who can help you with getting you back on your feet.


Dr. John J Hickey has seen many of these cases over the course of his career at Levittown Podiatry. If you feel like you may have an issue with your feet, give him a call at 516-735-4545 to make an appointment.



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Levittown Podiatry

2870 Hempstead Tpke, Suite 103,

Levittown, New York 11756

Phone: (516) 735-4545