If you have begun a running program, congratulations! Running not only improves your health and helps maintain your weight, but this exercise can also prevent some cancers, eliminate depression and relieve stress.
But not matter how you look at it, running is a high impact workout and your feet and legs are subject to incredible amounts of stress. If you’re a beginning runner, you will likely end up with some aches and pain because your body isn’t yet used to this repetitive motion.
Any beginning pain should ease up and disappear within a few weeks. However, if your pain persists or gets worse during your run, you may have an injury. It’s important that you recognize this threshold, put a temporary halt to your running program and come see us at Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle for an evaluation.
Here are the most common overuse foot and ankle injuries that appear in beginning runners. Remember, they will only get worse if you keep pushing yourself too hard.
Heel Pain Caused by Plantar Fasciitis
You’ll feel this sharp pain on the bottom of your heel. Usually the pain is worse first thing in the morning, and then it eases up during the day but can reappear during a run.
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick tissue running under your foot that supports the arch. Too much repeated tension as when running can cause irritation and inflammation. Tight calf muscles, flat feet, poor running mechanics, and core weakness can all contribute to this pain.
After diagnosing your condition including taking an x-ray to rule out a stress fracture, we’ll work to reduce the inflammation:
- Rest from your running regimen.
- Apply ice to the area.
- Take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication with your doctor’s permission.
- Custom-fitted orthotics can take the pressure off of the injury.
- Calf and toe stretches should be done each day.
- A night splint can keep the plantar fascia gently stretched.
If you’ve injured your Achilles tendon, you will feel pain at the back of the heel. The area will feel warm and tender and it will be impossible to stand on your toes without intense pain.
Overuse or any tightness or weakness in the calf muscles, hamstrings or glutes can strain this tendon. If those muscles aren’t doing their job when running, the Achilles tendon must take over and can become strained. Improper foot mechanics can also injure this tendon.
Taking an x-ray will help diagnose the problem. To treat this injury, you’ll have to rest your foot and use icing and anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the pain and swelling.
We Can Help with Any Foot and Ankle Injuries
Dr. Lawrence J. Kales, board certified podiatrist has the right experience to diagnose and treat all types of foot and ankle injuries, including plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. Please come in to Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle for an examination – you can request an appointment via the website or call us at our Hudson office at 727 868-2128 or our Spring Hill office at 352 683-5799. We’ll help you get back on the road as soon as possible!