Avoid This Marathon of Aches and Pains
Running, whether for sport or health, demands a great amount of passion and commitment. It gives you not just a full body workout, but also builds stamina, patience, and character. Subjecting your foot to miles and miles of rigorous punishment daily can, of course, take it’s toll on the health of your toes, heels, and arches. This is precisely why it is common for runners to encounter an array of foot injuries during their training.
Foot pain is especially common for active individuals who are keen on jogging or running every day. It can be triggered by something as simple as wearing poorly fitting or overly worn out shoes to tearing ligaments or tissues because of a foot injury. Extreme running can also damage the joints of the foot, which result in bruising, discoloration, and extreme pain.
The soles of someone who runs regularly strike the ground with with a force of roughly 3 times their body weight. While some conditions may be minor and are easily treated, there are those that demand immediate attention.
Fortunately, there are always ways to steer clear of foot pain, but in order to this, you will first have to understand what causes it and why.
Here is a rundown of the most common foot problems that plague runners.
1. Heel Pain – the typical cause of heel pain comes from an inflammation in the plantar fascia region, which is found along the base of the foot. This area of connective tissues ties the heel to the forefoot, so it takes on most of the weight every time you attempt high impact activities. Because of this, the heel bone is prone to pain and swelling. There are orthotics for plantar fasciitis from companies like Ideal Feet which can reposition the foot and allow the tissues to heal on their own.
2. Tendinitis – characterized by an inflamed tendon, this affliction negatively impacts the arch of the foot and can be triggered by overworking it through excessive running.
3. Over-pronation – with every run, you unknowingly subject your foot to extreme stress that can lead to injury, especially along the foot and ankle.
4. Toe pain – as you hit the ground, your toes naturally bump into the inside of your shoe, causing significant trauma to the forefoot. When wearing poorly fitted shoes, this potential for injury is doubled. To make sure that your toes won’t be suffering from considerable pain after a long run, make sure to wear running shoes that allow your toes enough room to relax and breathe.
5. Blisters – with running comes intense friction, a result of the persistent rubbing together of the skin and shoes. Thus, blisters or swollen boils appear, which can be both discomforting and painful at the same time. Wearing footwear that is a size smaller or is brand new can increase the chances of blisters on your toes, and without proper care can impede you from staying on track.
6. Black Toenails – as your toenails incessantly slam on your tight fitting shoe, it will eventually bleed, and over time this blood will congeal and turn an unsightly black color. While they are usually relatively pain-free, there are those that come with recurring pain and should be examined by a podiatrist for treatment.
7. Bunions – a bony projection on the side of your big toe, bunions are generally caused by ill fitting running shoes. While they may not pose a grave threat to your health, they can at times be painful and can make your daily jogs a good deal more challenging.
8. Bursitis – defined by mild to intense aches underneath the three smallest toes, bursitis is common among runners who over do their workouts with excessive thumps and hits.
9. Hammertoes – so called because they make your foot resemble a hammer, this specific type of painful toe affliction stems from wearing shoes that restrict your toes, causing them to overlap over one another. Over time, hammertoes will incite pain and may need to be surgically removed.
10. Neuromas – these are nerve endings that, when irritated, cause a throbbing and burning sensation in your toes.
While these ten foot disorders may differ in location and symptoms, almost all of them are triggered by a common denominator – that of poorly fitted running shoes. Make sure to have shoes that are big enough for your feet and you’ll have a leg up on avoiding painful foot situations.