Runners are a different breed of athlete – one that endures both mental and physical pain on any given workout. However, it’s the physical pain that poses the most danger; especially in your feet. Elizabeth Kurtz, spokesperson for the America Podiatric Medical Association, tells EverydayHealth.com, “The foot of the average jogger hits the ground with two to three times the normal body weight.” You can see how runners may experience more pain than the average athlete.
As a part of the body that you need to live your day-to-day life, not just during a workout session, it’s important that you work to avoid injury, and handle pain in the most efficient way if it does become a problem.
Preparing and Protecting
Your first step in relieving the pain of runner’s feet is preventative measures. Ensuring they are stretched, for example, will be critical to avoiding injury that could put you out for days or weeks.
Manual massage: With a tennis ball or water bottle, roll your foot back and forth. Start on the ball of your foot and roll back and forth to see where you may need other gentle massaging.
– Reduce inflammation: If you’re feet are feeling sore, fill a water bottle half with ice and half with water, wrap a towel around it and roll your foot on top. The cold will help with any inflammation you may be experiencing.
– Stretching: You stretch your legs after a long run, so why wouldn’t you stretch your feet? There are a number of stretches you can perform; see our blog post for some stretches to get started and head over to FitSugar.com for even more.
– The right shoes: There has been much discussion about barefoot running shoes in the running world. While there is no definitive answer as to which is better for each and every individual, consider whether you’re current shoes are the cause of potential foot pain.
– Clipping your nails: Seems simple, but long toenails will become black and lead to pain or loss of the nail itself. Be sure you keep them trimmed to avoid any unnecessary issues.
Common Foot Injuries
Despite your best preparations, you may still be stuck with runner’s foot pain. In this case, the first step to healing is knowing what it is and how you can fix it. There are a number of common foot injuries that you should be aware of.
– Plantar Fascitis: One of the most common foot injuries, and your first sign, will be pain in the heel or along the arch of your foot. This is often caused from improper weight proportions when your foot strikes the ground. This can be caused by having too much or not enough support in your shoe.
Finding relief: Temporarily decrease the miles you’re logging, be sure that your hamstrings and calves are stretched, and ice after each run for at least 10 minutes. Consider replacing your shoe to be sure it doesn’t happen again.
– Burning foot: If your shoes are too tight, unnecessary pressure may be placed on the nerves and bones within your foot; this will eventually lead to burning in your feet each time you walk or run.
Finding relief: Be sure your shoes are the right size and style for your feet.
– Over-pronation: Your foot is over-pronating when it rotates too far inward, which strains your tissues.
Finding relief: This can often be fixed by finding new shoes – some professionals say barefoot shoes are will solve this issue, others believe you need more support. Consider trying both to determine what is best for your foot.
Foot pain is all too common for runners, and may be the reason you have likely ignored it in the past. However, if you know what to look for, how to prevent the pain, and where you can find relief, you you’ll have no excuse to miss another run.