If you're a runner you're probably already aware of the high rate of injury in your chosen sport. You're pretty sure you've got the right shoes, you're a fanatic when it comes to warming up and stretching your calf muscles, and you get plenty of rest and eat right.
You've had more than one bout of plantar fasciitis so you have a pair of orthotics that you wear religiously.
Even with all that you still find yourself in pain more than you should given how well you take care of yourself.
Now it's time to try some sure fire techniques to help your body withstand the forces that lead to foot and ankle pain when running.
Ramp Up Your Training Slowly
Foot and ankle injuries are common in runners who rapidly increase their training schedule by more than 10% a week. Your body needs time to recover and build strength. Be sure to ramp up your training slowly to avoid injuring yourself.
Increase Your Step Rate
Research has shown that when runners increase the number of steps they take by just 5% and keep their speed the same they can reduce the impact on their body by 20%. This translates to a shorter, quicker stride and fewer injuries for the runner. Although changing your running style can be difficult, fortunately there are some apps that make it much easier. Try RunCadence, Cadence Trainer, or BeatRun.
Improve Your Core Strength
In addition to good posture, having a strong core will help prevent injuries to your lower extremities. For that we turn to our neighbors Therapeutic Associates. Check out a full page of videos on how to improve the strength of your core, hips, and glutes.
Change Up Your Exercise
Instead of focusing on putting in more miles, replace them with cross training to give your body a chance to recover. Weightlifting at the gym, yoga, and an aerobic activity such as swimming, cycling or light jogging will keep your body strong and flexible.
Watch Your Posture Even When You're Not Running
Poor posture can put extra stress on the body. One of the best ways to become more aware of your body is through yoga. If you know you have poor posture taking a yoga class can be a tremendous help in increasing your body awareness. But if you can't sign up for a class there are a few easy poses that work well to increase that awareness and improve posture.
In mountain pose, place your feet hip width apart with a slight bend in your knees, ground your feet into the mat, place your hips in a neutral position, and tuck your tailbone under just slightly. Roll your shoulder blades up, back, and down and reach the crown of your head toward the sky. For additional posture enhancing poses, check out this yoga journal article.
Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.
For more information about heel pain in runners download our eBook, "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners".
For chronic heel pain, download our eBook, "Stop Living With Stubborn Heel Pain".
In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly. You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!
Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.