Don’t get stopped in your tracks.
Beware of these foot and ankle injuries that are common to runners.
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the fibrous band of tissue in the bottom of the foot that extends from the heel bone to the toes. This tissue can become inflamed and be quite painful. It happens to runners, due to the excess stress they are putting on the bottom of their feet.
- Prevention: Stretch before and after every run. Make sure you are wearing proper supportive shoes, and increase your running distance at a gradual pace.
- Treatment: If you are experiencing pain in the bottom of your foot, icing several times a day and anti-inflammatory medication may help. Refraining from running until it starts to feel better is advisable. Custom orthotics and athletic therapy tape can also help treat the tissue.
Achilles tendonitis is a very common runner’s injury. It is an irritation or inflammation of the large tendon in the back of the lower calf that attaches to the back of the heel. It is often caused by lack of flexibility and over pronation.
- Prevention: Stretch before and after every run. Custom orthotics, heel cups, and arch supports may also help to correct the faulty foot mechanics that lead to injury.
- Treatment: Ice and anti-inflammatory medications can help short term. Resting the affected limb is necessary for recovery. In very severe cases, a podiatrist may recommend immobilization, such as a walking boot.
Shin splints are also known as “tibial stress syndrome”, and it commonly affects runners. It is described as a shooting pain near the front or sides of one or both tibia bones (on the shins).
- Prevention: Stretch before and after each run. Stretches such as toe raises and shin stretches will directly target this area. Also, best to make sure you have supportive and cushioned shoes.
- Treatment: Ice and anti-inflammatory medication can help relieve the immediate pain of shin splints. A podiatrist may recommend a physical therapy program, custom orthotics or inserts to prevent further injury.