Common Running Injuries
If you get your aerobic exercise by running, you’ve probably experienced pain in your feet or ankles at some point, or even had a more serious injury. Some estimates are that 50 – 60% of all runners will experience some sort of problem over a year’s time. But don’t despair! If pounding the pavement is giving you problems, Aadvanced Foot Care Associates can help. We are familiar with the common running injuries and can recommend the best treatments for your difficulties.
What Can Go Wrong
Your whole body is involved when running, but special stress is placed on the feet and legs. Repeated trauma occurs to your lower limbs as your entire body weight bears on the muscles, ligaments and joints. This stress can cause many of the following common types of injuries.
Achilles Tendonitis: The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscles to your heel bone and takes a lot of abuse when your legs and feet are constantly striking a hard surface. Problems with this band of tissue can often occur, especially if you recently upped your distance or intensity, or if you are older or exercise only on weekends. Overuse can cause this tendon to swell or become inflamed, causing pain and sometimes stiffness. In the initial stages, this condition may respond to conservative treatment at home, but if the pain persists or is intense, it is best to get it checked out to head off more serious complications.
Plantar Fasciitis: When the fascia – the band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot – becomes stretched, torn, or inflamed, it can cause pain in the heel and foot. The pain is often worse when first getting out of bed in the morning. We would be glad to advise you on stretches that might mitigate your condition, but if the discomfort and swelling persist, it would be good to limit your activity and call one of our offices for an evaluation. We can diagnose the cause and find the treatment that suits your situation.
Stress Fractures: These refer to hairline cracks in a bone and often occur when you begin a new activity that your feet or ankles are not used to. Repeated pressure on your bones, and lack of rest for them to recuperate and form new bone cells, can make them weaker and prone to these fissures. If you continue the cycle of overuse and lack of rest, the cracks can worsen and the pain can increase until you are unable to run. If you notice pain, swelling, and tenderness that comes and goes with exercise and rest, have your podiatrist check out your feet for fractures and recommend treatment for you.
Ankle Sprain: A sprain is an injury to the ligaments that support the bones of your ankle. It usually occurs when these bands of tissue are stretched beyond their normal range by twisting, turning or rolling your ankle in an unusual way, such as running over uneven surfaces. A medical examination may be necessary to determine the extent of the sprain and whether home remedies will give you relief, or if more extensive treatment is needed.
Blisters: The best way to deal with blisters is prevention. Shoes that don’t fit well usually cause blisters. When they rub against your feet, a welt can form at the point of contact, and turn into a fluid-filled bubble that can become quite painful, limiting your ability to run as usual. The best prevention is finding the right pair of footwear for your particular foot style. If the blister is not painful, don’t puncture it. Nature has provided this natural barrier to infection and it may only need to be covered with an adhesive bandage. Various pads and cushions are also available over the counter to protect the area from further friction. If it is painful enough to limit your movements, your podiatrist can explain how you might be able to drain the blister safely. If you are diabetic, it is important to have the sore examined by a medical professional rather than to try to treat it yourself.
Don’t let these common running injuries slow you down. Our podiatrists have treated many patients with similar problems and can help diagnose your specific condition and get you the relief you need. With three New York offices, help is always close by. Contact them at Aadvanced Foot Care Associates, or request an appointment online.