Foot-Friendly Tips to Prevent Common Running InjuriesMaking running part of a workout routine leads to better physical stamina and a more positive state of mind—but a detrimental foot injury can quickly stop runners in their tracks. Keeping feet healthy and pain-free can go a long way toward ensuring that every run is enjoyable, for both experienced runners or for those just starting out. Carolina Foot Specialists would like to give you some New Year’s tips before hitting the trail or treadmill, which can keep your foot and ankle injuries at bay.
Some of the more common running-related foot injuries our foot specialists treat include arch pain, tendonitis, and blisters. If runners can take just a few minutes to stretch properly pre-workout, select appropriate footwear, and see a podiatrist immediately when foot pain occurs, many of these ailments can be avoided entirely.
Select a good running shoe: A running shoe purchase is dependent upon the type of foot and function of the foot for the individual. Runners should research shoe construction and keep in mind that footwear can vary in size from one manufacturer to the other. It may be worth spending a little extra money going to one of the local running stores in your area to make sure you are fitted correctly.
Select good socks: Runners should always fit shoes with the socks that they plan on wearing during a run. Socks should be made of a poly-cotton blend that pulls moisture from the skin, fit well, and be comfortable when worn with a running shoe. Cotton socks should be avoided because they hold in moisture and can contribute to blister formation.
Stretch out and build momentum: Before a run, begin by warming up and gently stretching for 5-10 minutes, focusing on lower leg muscles. Amateur runners should start with short distances, increasing distance over time to help prevent injury. All runners should begin every workout slowly, as this allows the body to warm up further and decreases the chance of muscle strain. Runners should also focus on keeping both the feet and entire body relaxed, avoid tensing or cramping toes, and run with a gait that feels the most natural. Cease running immediately if any pain is experienced.
Cool down and rest: After reaching the end of a running workout, cool down and stretch for about 10 minutes. Submerging the lower extremities in an ice bath after longer runs can reduce muscle soreness, as can the use of a self-massager designed for post-athletic activities. Epsom salt soaks in warm water can help to reduce muscle soreness as well.
Muscle pain is common after exercise, and minor injuries may be treated with the RICE regimen (rest, ice, compression, elevation). However, if foot pain does not resolve itself after several days—or returns immediately upon resuming exercise—runners should seek out care from a Sports Podiatrist who has expert experience with sports related foot injuries.
Frequent runners should see a podiatrist on a regular basis to maximize any running program and prevent serious injury. For more on running and foot health, visit our website at carolinafootspecialists.net