Runners have a strange relationship with their feet. They need those puppies to run, but they also take a beating while supporting runners. They’re the foundation of the body, hitting the track, trail, or tarmac repeatedly.
For long distances runners, this feature of running can be a burden. When calluses and blisters develop, runners go to great lengths to shore up the damage, so they can keep going.
But superficial running wounds can be accompanied by more serious problems. One is plantar fasciitis, others are stress fractures and tendonitis. If you’re experiencing soreness that goes beyond the normal bumps and bruises that are part of a runner’s life, you may have an underlying problem.
Feet are complicated and when they complain, you need to pay attention.
Do you suffer from foot pain while running? Then you may be suffering from a condition which will only get worse if you don’t seek medical attention.
The plantar fascia is a tendon which runs the length of the foot. When it’s compromised, you’ll know, as you’ll experience stabbing pains which are sharp and can persist for some time. Resulting from overuse, a problem with this tendon may be the result of a biomechanical problem, the wrong shoes, or even too much enthusiasm on the part of the runner.
If you’re prone to this common runner’s foot problem. Stretching your feet adequately for running should be part of your routine. Rolling a tennis ball under the foot to loosen it up is also effective self-therapy.
These are generally caused by ramping up training intensity too quickly. But stepping on something like a rock while running can also provoke them. Most common in the bones on the top of the foot, stress fractures can affect any bones in the foot.
If you suspect a stress fracture, go to the doctor. You’ll be prescribed rest. We know runners don’t like that word, but stress fractures need time to heal, unless you’re down for a chronic problem that’s going to cramp your style for life. Cross-train all you like, but if you have a stress fracture, you need a break from running to heal.
Your toes can extend and contract because of the tendons which runs down the front of the shin and over the top of the foot, then splits off to control digital movements.
When these tendons become inflamed, the pain will be much like that caused by stress fractures. You can tell the difference by applying pressure to the top of the toes and then attempting to extend them upward. If this causes localized pain, it’s extensor tendonitis.
Causes can include inappropriate footwear, or an Achilles tendon which is not being stretched adequately. Your footwear probably need an upgrade (and maybe an orthotic insert). You should also be more diligent about stretching and strengthening the calf muscles and Achilles tendon.
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