Runners give their feet a pounding. With every step you take, the entire weight of your body is centered on your feet and ankles. A 5k run requires over 6,000 steps, which puts a huge amount of pressure on your feet. While we recommend that runners see a New Hampshire podiatrist regularly for checkups and maintenance, in most cases, pain is what brings runners to our office.
A lot of runners ignore pain. They’re used to the aches and pains of strenuous exercise and are often so committed to their training that they run through the pain. In general, we think that with early and effective treatment you can run and enjoy a pain-free life.
However, we want the runners of our community to understand that there are three kinds of pain that shouldn’t be ignored.
First, if you experience pain that affects your normal day-to-day activities, you should make an appointment with your trusted-podiatrist. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong and that you need to rest.
Similarly, if your foot pain is causing you to change the way you walk or run, which is also called your gait, you should seek an assessment from your trusted podiatrist. If your gait is altered, you will stress other muscles and tendons that are overcompensating or moving in an unnatural way to make up for the pain.
And finally, if you experience numbness or tingling as well as pain, you should seek medical attention with your trusted New Hampshire podiatrist as soon as possible.
How can a podiatrist help me as a runner?
In addition to helping you to recover from in running-related injuries, your trusted podiatrist can also help you to avoid injuries and potentially improve your running gait and performance.
For example, if you pronate, which means that your feet roll inward when you take a step, your podiatrist can prescribe custom orthotics to control your gait, which can help to prevent issues like plantar fasciitis and Achilles’ tendonitis. If your pronation is exaggerated and it already causing problems, you may benefit from HyProCure® treatment.
HyProCure® is a minimally invasive procedure where a small stent is placed in between the naturally occurring space between your heel bone and your ankle bone. This delivers a stabilizing effect which prevents overpronation and the associated conditions.
In addition to this preventive care, your trusted New Hampshire podiatrist can also treat common runners’ issues like ingrown toenails, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and Achilles’ tendonitis.
While rest, ice, and elevation are important to the healing process, your foot doctor can help if you suffer from chronic ingrown nails or provide pain relief for issues like plantar fasciitis. He may also suggest physical therapy or a series of stretches and exercises to perform daily to keep your feet and ankles healthy and pain-free.
What symptoms and conditions should I look out for?
Runners put themselves at risk of developing painful foot conditions. While running is a great way to stay in shape, it's physically challenging and it takes time to build the strength and endurance to run for longer distances or at faster speeds. Running too long or too fast, too quickly is a common cause of both acute injuries and painful conditions that develop over time.
As mentioned above, pain is a signal that something is wrong with your body. Runners with tight calves or pronation issues may notice that they develop pain in their heels and the arches of their feet. This pain is usually caused by plantar fasciitis, which is when the fascia on the bottom of your foot becomes inflamed. Shin splints cause pain in the shins. Stress fractures, or tiny hairline cracks in the bones of the foot and ankle, can cause local pain.
In general, runners should also look after the overall condition of their feet. Dry scaly skin, thick yellow toenails, black toenails and bruising are all signs that you need attention from a podiatrist.
So, if you want to continue to run, you should see a New Hampshire podiatrist for check-ups to make sure that your feet and ankles are strong and healthy so they can absorb the physical shock and stress of running. Schedule a consultation at Nagy Footcare today to make sure your feet are in good condition.
At Nagy Footcare, our best day is the day you wake up with no foot pain.