Every year, about 50 million Americans put on sneakers and go for a run at least once. And if running has turned into your healthy habit, you may want to take it to the next level by adding some miles.
While our team of podiatry experts at Neuhaus Foot and Ankle applaud your efforts, we also want you to keep the health of your feet top of mind. Runners can develop a wide range of sports injuries, many of which affect your feet.
Of course, we want you to meet your running goals and go the extra mile, but we prefer you do so with these tips in mind.
Top issues in your feet related to running
It makes sense that running injuries include your feet, seeing as they take the brunt of the effort. Some common running issues include:
- Stress fractures
- Plantar fasciitis
- Morton’s neuroma
- Toenail damage
- Heel bruises
- Ankle problems (sprains, strains, instability, etc.)
- Hallux rigidus (stiff big toe)
There are other ways you can injure your feet while running, but this list gives you a good idea.
Our goal isn’t to scare you out of running — we want you to exercise. But we want you to do so in a way that best protects your feet.
Getting the right support
We can’t say enough about the importance of what you’re putting on your feet when you run. Suppose you’re serious about running and want to add to your distance. In that case, we suggest going to a store specializing in running shoes.
Running is popular, so many experts can guide you on which shoes are suitable for the running you want to do. Not only can these experts point you toward the right shoe, but they’ll make sure the shoe fits.
If you’re unsure about your shoes and whether they’re up to the task, you can always bring them to us, and we can take a look.
If your expert suggests orthotics, we urge you to consider custom orthotics. We take molds of your feet and send instructions for custom inserts that will support YOUR feet the right way.
Ease into your miles
Stress fractures and plantar fasciitis can develop when you add to your regime too quickly. If you want to increase your mileage, do so incrementally and build up to your goals a half mile at a time.
The same applies if you're running on a different surface or adding more challenging terrain to your runs. Say you’re going from road running to trail running — we want you to make this transition slowly because these surfaces place different stresses on your feet and ankles.
Stretch it out
Before and after you run, no matter your distance, we recommend really stretching out your legs, ankles, and feet. Giving your hamstrings and quads a good stretch may seem obvious, but ensuring that your calf muscles and tendons are loose and limber is also essential. Tight muscles and tendons in your calves can wreak havoc on your ankles and feet.
Not to mention, a little pre-run stretching can warm up your soft tissues, readying them for your run.
If you want a tailored plan for your running regimen, we invite you to contact one of our 13 offices in Tennessee to schedule a consultation.