6 Ways to Prevent Foot Injuries When Running On a Treadmill

In another blog I wrote about how treadmills can cause foot problems in runners. I talked about the stress that treadmills can put on the body and feet that can lead to several foot conditions. Fortunately there are some ways to prevent or at least lessen the impact of the treadmill on your feet.

Warm Up and Cool Down Your Muscles

Running without a warm-up is never a good idea. I suggest Dynamic Warm-Ups as a great way to get you blood flowing and your muscles ready for action. To cool down, run and then walk at a slower pace for at least 10% of the time spent on the treadmill.

Posture

Certain positions can throw off your run by putting too much strain on specific body parts and making it more likely you'll be off balance.

  • Look straight ahead.

  • Avoid craning your neck to the left, right, or down.

  • To check your posture, pull up slightly from your mid-chest and imagine a string pulling you up from the top of your head.

  • Some experts suggest a 2% incline to keep your posture aligned.

Speed

Have you had injuries before or healing from one? To help yourself heal or prevent a reoccurence, interval training is probably your best bet. Run for a five minutes and then walk for a five minutes. When you run, do it at a slower speed than you normally would.

Incline and Resistance

Many runners want to really boost up the incline (on treadmills) and crank up the resistance (on ellipticals) to get a more intense workout. That may be fine for some people who have worked up to it, but making your workout too extreme can put you at greater risk for Achilles tendonitis. If you've suffered from foot problems before, keep your incline at 2% and resistance low if you use an elliptical.

Duration and Frequency

It's important to give yourself a break no matter what the state of your physical activity or feet. Don't work out too frequently or too long to prevent foot problems from occurring. If recovering from an injury work out for no longer than 30 minutes, using the suggestions above for incline and resistance.

Purchase Proper Shoes

Shoes wear out after 500 miles of use. Replace your shoes annually or more often if you run frequently and long distances. Here are guidelines for purchasing proper running shoes:

  • Go to a reputable running store

  • Replace the insert that comes with your shoes with Superfeet for more support

  • Get your feet measured; many adults feet get larger as they age

  • Test your shoes for stability (Watch video: How to Test Any Shoe for Stability)

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 great information for runners, download "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners".

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.

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