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Foot Problems in Runners

Posted on June 16, 2024 by Rod Friberg

An incredible number of runners try the streets, tracks and trails everyday. People run for health, for fitness, for stress relief and for fun. You can find casual joggers, the trail runners, sprinters, marathon runners and elite competitors. Despite these differences, all runners are vunerable to foot problems. Common foot and ankle conditions in runners include blisters, foot fungus, ankle sprains, stress fractures, tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. Fortunately, many of these conditions could be prevented and several are often treated. When foot and ankle conditions are ignored they are able to become difficult to take care of and sometimes resistant to therapy.

Heel pain

One million runners will establish heel pain each year. The most typical reason behind heel pain is plantar fasciitis, that is the consequence of excess stress by way of a long ligament type structure (the plantar fascia) in underneath of the foot. The surplus stress causes tearing and results in inflammation and pain. The classic symptoms are pain in the heel at step one each day, or upon rising after long stretches of rest. Runners may only go through the pain at the start of a run and several declare that the pain will continue to work itself out after about 1 mile, but return by the finish of an extended run or by the end of your day.

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis and related calf problems will be the most typical injuries in runners. Pain develops behind the heel or in the calf and will be sharp with activity and feel deep and dull with rest. The pain could be apparent at step one each day or rising after long stretches of rest. Runners may experience sharp pain in the heel area at the start of a run, which in turn becomes a dull annoyance through the run. In severe cases, it could be so painful that it'll bring running to a halt. Calf injuries and Achilles tendonitis are both frustrated by hills and stairs.

Runners develop plantar fasciitis and tendonitis for a number of reasons. Probably the most common known reasons for the development of plantar fasciitis is wearing low quality or exhausted shoes. It's quite common to seize old "mud" shoes to perform in inclement weather, or even to start Spring trained in shoes which were used the complete previous season. The older shoes could have a exhausted midsole and could have lost all areas of support and stability. Improper fit of a fresh running shoe may also cause fasciitis. Overtraining is another reason behind plantar fasciitis. Adding way too many miles prematurely, or adding way too many hills prematurely can overstress the foot. Abnormal mechanics in the foot is another contributing factor to the development of plantar fasciitis in runners. If the foot overpronates (rolls in) this places a significant amount of pressure on the tendons in the arch and on the plantar fascia, often leading to small microtears and therefore plantar fasciitis.

The keys to treating plantar fasciitis and tendonitis are rest, ice, stretching and support. Give your foot a rest! Cross train with swimming or biking and prevent impact activity on your own foot. In the event that you must run, scale back on mileage, avoid hills and speed work and gently stretch before your run, but following a 10 minute warm-up. Ice the region for 20 minutes, following the run. Make an effort to ice for 20 minutes, twice each day. Stretch the calf and/or the arch multiple times during the day. Be sure you focus on gentle stretching, and steer clear of overstretching. For plantar fasciitis, night splints have become helpful. Buy supportive shoes and use an over-the-counter orthotic for support. When you have flatfeet you might need tailor made orthotics. If this can be a chronic problem, see your podiatrist.

Stress fractures

Stress fractures mostly occur in the metatarsal bones. The metatarsal bones will be the long bones in the center of the foot. A stress fracture can be an incomplete break of the bone. The pain is normally sharp and develops suddenly, nonetheless it is not the consequence of a particular injury or trauma. Stress fractures tend to be more commonly the consequence of overuse. In the event that you create a sudden swelling and bruising at the top of one's foot, but can't remember any specific injury, it's time to see your podiatrist. The normal treatment is really a surgical shoe (fully rigid shoe) for 4-6 weeks.

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are another common injury in runners, especially in trail runners. The most typical ankle sprain is named an inversion ankle sprain. The ligaments externally of the ankle tear once the foot turns in and the ankle works out. You can find three ligaments that contain the ankle joint set up externally of the ankle. Once the ankle is twisted, a number of of the ligaments could be torn. Most ankle sprains involve partial tearing of 1 or even more ligaments. Severe ankle sprains involve partial to perform tears of several ligaments.

Very mild ankle sprains may only need an ace bandage and high top shoes for support for weekly or two. For more moderate sprains, a lace-up ankle brace and sometimes an aircast are essential. When there is a great deal of swelling, bruising and pain, a trip to the physician is recommended. An assessment will undoubtedly be done to measure the stability of the joint and X-rays will undoubtedly be taken to eliminate a broken bone. Mild ankle sprains may only have a fourteen days for full recovery, but most ankle sprains will need about 6 weeks. More serious ankle sprains typically take 3 months and could not feel 90-100% for nearly a year. In the event that you experience a severe ankle sprain, look at a stop by at a podiatrist. Should you have not healed from an ankle sprain after 6 weeks, visit a podiatrist.


Friction blisters are one of the most common foot injuries in runners. Blisters mostly develop on the trunk of the heel, the medial side of the big toe or among the toes. A blister is because friction, of shearing forces on your skin. The blister is truly a defense mechanism of your body, which occurs once the shearing forces separate the outer layer of skin, the skin, from the deeper dermal layer of your skin. Fluid collects between these layers, providing a cushion contrary to the aggravating force while a fresh layer of skin re-grows underneath.

The very best treatment is prevention. Blisters could be prevented with the correct socks and proper shoe fit. Sometimes, blisters are unavoidable. Small blisters that aren't painful rather than infected ought to be left alone. You don't have to pop and drain these blisters. The most crucial treatment would be to reduce friction to check out the reason. Was the sock folded or crumpled at the toes or heel? Will there be stitching in the shoe that's prominent or defective? May be the shoe not fitting properly? It is possible to place moleskin on top of small blisters in reducing friction. Drain larger blisters with a sterilized needle (if you don't are diabetic) by punctured the medial side of the blister and placing gentle pressure with gauze to soak up the fluid. Don't take away the top layer of skin. This layer may be the body's best protection. Dry the region, but avoid antibiotic ointment on the area. In the event that you intend to continue running, place moleskin directly on the blister. Pat dry with a towel after every shower and the moleskin should stick to for several days. Slice the edges of the moleskin if the corners peel up, but don't accomplish for at the very least 3 days. This can tear the very best layer of skin off and create an open wound. Any blister which has redness, streaking or pus could be infected. You need to see your physician immediately.

Foot & Toenail Fungus

Foot fungus is seen as a peeling, redness and itching on underneath of the foot and among the toes. Toenail fungus is seen as a white, splotchy areas on the nail or thickness and yellow discoloration of area of the entire nail. Fungus grows in moist, warm environments, which places runners, specifically, at an increased risk. Foot fungus rarely causes any pain or considerable problems, but is mainly an annoyance. Toenail fungus could cause ingrown nails and thickened nails, both which could cause pain.

Foot fungus could be treated with over-the-counter anti-fungal medications in conjunction with anti-fungal powder and spray in the shoes and eliminating the moist, warm environment. Toenail fungus is a lot more difficult to take care of. The treatments range between simple home cures to expensive oral medicaments. Prevention is the greatest treatment. Decrease the quantity of moisture through the use of wicking socks and be sure to have proper sock and shoe fit.

Sock and Shoe Fit

Avoid cotton socks and use socks with synthetic blends, small fiber wool blends or acrylic. Cotton socks absorb moisture and do not enable evaporation. It is necessary for the sock and shoe combination to permit for wicking. The shoes must have some regions of breathable fabric, like nylon mesh. When selecting shoes, ensure that you measure the feet together with your socks on. Select a shoe with a rigid midsole, but has flexibility at the toes. Your toes must have some wiggle room. The overall rule is one finger's width between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. The heel counter (back of the shoe) ought to be supportive rather than too rigid. It will involve some flexibility, but shouldn't collapse when pressed towards leading of the shoe. Most importantly, the shoe should feel safe.

As oftentimes, prevention can be your best treatment. Proper shoe and sock fit, gentle stretching after starting to warm up and recognizing an issue before it become serious are your keys to staying active and avoiding foot problems.