If you’re a runner you know the joy of fresh air in your face and feeling the strength of your body with every stride. Then just as you’re feeling the stress of the day finally fade away you notice that twinge in your knee again. It doesn’t quite, hurt but you can feel a strange sensation and the next morning when you get out of bed your knee is a little tender and stiff. It’s all part of being a runner, right?
Well, pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. So if you want to keep running - and enjoying it - you should check in with your trusted podiatrist every now and then to make sure your feet and ankles are healthy and strong. That twinge you feel in your knee could be stemming from poor support in your running shoes that’s increasing the stress and pressure on your joints when you run.
Your podiatrist can check for signs of misalignment and other injuries and issues that could be contributing to your knee issue and in many cases, you might benefit from custom orthotics to provide the exact support your feet need for safe running.
What are Custom Orthotics?
Custom orthotics are special inserts for your shoes that provide the exact support you need for optimal stability and comfort. Your podiatrist examines your feet and takes molds and images of your feet so inserts can be designed and made to fit and support your feet perfectly. You could try inserts that you can buy at a drugstore but those are mass produced and might end up causing more harm than good.
How Do They Help Runners?
When you run, even if you’re slim and fit, you put several times your body weight of pressure on your feet and ankles with every stride. That’s one heck of a pounding that you put your feet through. Custom orthotics make sure that your feet are properly supported and that they move correctly which reduces stress on the rest of your body and helps you avoid injuries.
How Can You Tell if You Need Custom Orthotics?
One of the obvious signs that you need additional support when you run is discomfort either while or after you’re running. It’s not the muscle ache and fatigue you feel after a long or hard run, but more of a stiffness or pain in your joints.
Another sign that you might benefit from custom orthotics is if you have flat feet or high arches. Your feet should have a moderate arch between your heel and the ball of your foot. If your arch is abnormal, it can affect your gait and alignment which can lead to extra stress or pressure when you run or even walk.
You can tell if you have flat feet or high arches by looking at your footprint when you get out of the shower or a swimming pool. A normal footprint will show an arch on the inside, while a flat foot will leave a wider print with little to no visible indent on the inside. If your arches are high, there will only be a slim print where the outer edge of your foot connects your heel and the ball of your feet.
When Should I Talk to a Podiatrist About Custom Orthotics?
As a runner, you should check in with your trusted podiatrist every now and then, like maintenance for your feet. If you’re starting to feel pain or discomfort during or after runs, mention it to your doctor during your next appointment. If the pain is keeping you from running, make an appointment right away.
At Nagy Footcare, our best day is when you wake up without foot pain. Dr. Nagy can fit you with custom orthotics to resolve your foot pain. Contact the practice today to schedule your appointment.