Running puts a lot of stress on the body, so it's no wonder that runners have a tendency to suffer from various foot injuries. Read on for three common foot problems that runners have and how to treat them.
Blisters are a common complaint amongst runners. Painful and easy to get, blisters are created when shoes don't fit properly or when socks become wet with sweat and rub against the skin.
It can be best to take a "watch and wait" approach with blisters, instead of popping them. Bandages or moleskin can be useful at relieving some of the pain while running or walking. To avoid blisters in the first place, make sure your socks are made of a moisture-wicking material. You should also consider having your foot analyzed at your local running store or a podiatrist's office to see what size and type of shoe is the best for your unique foot shape. Additionally, try breaking in new shoes over the course of several shorter runs.
Pain in between the toes-- particularly between the third and fourth toe-- may be indicative of a condition called Morton's neuroma. The nerve between the bones in the foot become compressed or irritated, resulting in pain, numbness, and occasionally the feeling that you're stepping on a pebble.
Once diagnosed, treatment for Morton's neuroma involves rest and anti-inflammatory painkillers. You may want to try wearing toe spacers for a few minutes in the morning or at night as well as wearing shoes that fit properly throughout the day, not just when running. If your condition doesn't improve with more conservative forms of treatment, surgery may be needed to remove the troublesome nerve.
The plantar fascia is a band that connects the heel to the toes. In plantar fasciitis, this band becomes inflamed. Running is one common cause of plantar fasciitis, as the repetitive motion and high-impact that are characteristic of the sport tend to aggravate the plantar fascia. People with this condition may notice heel pain, especially in the morning or after sitting for a long period of time.
Rest, anti-inflammatory medication, heel inserts or custom orthotics, and physical therapy are all used to treat plantar fasciitis. Steroid injections may also be useful for relieving symptoms.
Many foot problems can be avoided by wearing properly fitting running shoes and using good form. Talk to a podiatrist like Allied Ankle & Foot Care Centers PC or local running store about how best to keep your feet injury free.