Do you experience foot pain while running? If you have flat feet, running can become a painful problem. Flatfoot usually forms during childhood when the arches of your feet don't develop properly, but can also occur as a result of injury, disease, or extra wear-and-tear. The repetitive stress put on your feet and ankles while running can be damaging, especially if you have an unhealthy foot strike pattern.
Problems Linked to Running With Flatfoot and How to Solve Them
- Bunions are bony protrusions that form on the outside of your big toe. Running with flat feet puts you at higher risk for developing painful bunions that may chafe against your shoes while you run. Treat your bunions with foot soaks, ice packs, bunion pads, toe splints or splitters, and by wearing proper footwear.
- Calluses can be treated at home with foot soaks, medicated pads, and moisturizers. Try rubbing a thick callus with a warm washcloth or pumice stone after soaking your foot. Extremely hardened, tough calluses should be pared down by your podiatrist.
- Hammertoe is a foot deformity that causes your toes to bend unnaturally in the middle. Running with flat feet can lead to an imbalance of muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the toe that leads to painful hammertoes. Try wearing shoe inserts or pads, and shoes with a wide toe box. Toe curls and other foot exercises can help strengthen your toes and relieve the pain of hammertoes.
- Pain from flatfoot is felt on your lower leg, the inside of your ankle, and/or in your feet. Foot soaks, icing, rest, over-the-counter pain medicine, and orthotic devices may help reduce your pain. However, you may require an injection, prescription medication, or physical therapy to get relief. If you have severe or persistent foot pain you should see your podiatrist in order to rule out serious foot problems.
- Shin splints can develop from running with flat feet and can be quite painful. Conservative home treatment includes icing the shins for 20 minutes every few hours during the day until the pain subsides, taking a break from running, wearing shoe inserts or pads, and taking over-the-counter pain medication. Check with your podiatrist to determine whether you might also need physical therapy.
- Tendinitis can also be associated with flatfoot. Repetitive and increased stress on your ankle and the back of your heel while running with flat feet can cause pain, inflammation, redness, and warmth along your Achilles tendon. Conservative treatments you can try at home include icing, resting the foot, and taking pain medicine. If your tendinitis does not resolve after trying conservative treatment methods, see your podiatrist as you may require an injection, physical therapy, or even surgery.
Prevent Foot Pain While Running With Flat Feet
If you have flat feet and want to start or continue running, there are a few things you can do to help prevent pain. First, as always, make sure you're wearing appropriate footwear including clean, dry socks. Wear running shoes that provide strong arch support and/or wear arch-supporting inserts. Your running shoes should also provide support for your ankles and plenty of room for your toes. Exercising your toes and ankles can also help prevent foot pain from running with flatfoot because they strengthen your muscles and improve flexibility. If possible, run on flat terrain to prevent your feet from turning outward that in turn causes your legs to turn inward. Also known as overpronation, this effect puts extra stress on your knee joints, ankles, and lower legs, and can cause pain and other foot problems.
When to See Your Podiatrist
Flat feet are typically associated with a lack of strength and flexibility in your feet but don't always cause pain. If you experience foot pain when running and conservative treatment methods haven't helped, see your podiatrist as soon as possible. Left untreated, foot problems tend to get worse not better. Severe foot pain, lack of mobility, or the inability to continue running or training can be signs of a serious problem. Your podiatrist can determine what kind of treatment you need and provide the best solution.
At Nagy Footcare, it is our mission to earn your trust and exceed your expectations. We will listen to your concerns, make sure you understand your diagnosis, and help you choose the treatment plan that can deliver the best results for you. If you have pain from flat feet or any other foot problem, contact Nagy Footcare today. We want to help you move toward being free of foot pain while running.
At Nagy Footcare, our best day is when you wake up with no foot pain.