Running and Foot Pain

As a runner you probably know the many of the benefits you get from pounding the pavement--improved sleep, increased cardiovascular fitness, reduced stress, improved mood, and increased bone health. According to the Mayo Clinic, if you run at least 75 minutes a week you will have met the requirement for aerobic activity.

Foot and Ankle Injuries In Runners
Although great for your overall health, running can take a toll on your feet. While some foot problems in runners are fairly minor (blisters, corns, and calluses) many foot injuries will need more immediate attention so the problem doesn't worsen.

One of the most common problems in runners is Plantar fasciitis or heel pain. This condition starts with inflammation at the site of the heel. You'll notice it most when you first get out of bed in the morning. If left untreated it will worsen and make it unlikely for you to continue to run. Another inflammatory condition that's related to heel pain is Achilles tendonitis.  

Other foot problems and injuries that occur frequently in runners are stress fractures, shin splints, neuromas, and ankle sprains.

Preventing Foot and Ankle Injuries in Runners
1. It's important to build up a routine, stretch your muscles, tendons, and ligaments everytime you run, and build up your strength overtime. You're much more likely to sustain an injury if you do too much too soon or if your a weekend warrior.

2. You can prevent many simple foot problems by using proper foot hygiene. Keep your feet powdered and dry. Wear clean synthetic socks that wick away moisture to prevent problems such as Athlete's foot. 

3. Avoid irregularities in the road if you run outside to prevent twisting your ankle.

4. Purchase proper running shoes

Buying proper running shoes and knowing when to re-purchase them are two of the most important decisions you'll make to prevent running injuries. We recommend that you go to a running store or another shoe store that you trust to get fitted properly. Seattle runners can go to Super Jock 'N Jill at Greenlake or REI to purchase their shoes.

Here are some important tips for buying a good pair of running shoes:

  • Shop at the end of the day when your feet are slightly swollen to get a good fit.
  • Try on shoes with the socks you will wear when running. If you use an orthotic, bring that to the store when you try on shoes as well.
  • Have your feet measured standing up and fit your shoes to the larger of your two feet.
  • Be sure there is enough room in the toe box for your toes to wiggle and about a half inch between your toes and the end of the shoe.
  • Run your hand all over and inside the shoes to feel for any seams or catches that might irritate your foot.
  • Consider buying two pairs and rotating your wear to give each pair time to breath between runs and extend the life of each pair.
  • Test your shoes for stability (video)
  • Replace running shoes twice year or about every 500 miles.

5. If you experience heel pain, I suggest you first try using over-the-counter inserts like Superfeet or Powerstep.

For the most comprehensive information available, download a free copy of my eBook "The Complete Guide to Stopping Heel Pain in Runners" today. You won't regret it.

Learn about everything from all the foot conditions that can plague runners to how to treat and prevent it. You'll have all you need to know at your fingertips.

If you continue to have heel pain or other pain while running call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.