Off on the Right Foot, Even With a Hurt Foot

September 30, 2014

Some runners can push through a sore muscle or tight hamstring, but pain in the foot is hard to ignore, especially while running. Training with an injured foot can make it harder to reach goals and possibly cause further injury.

The foot is an integral part of running for obvious reasons, but look a little closer and you will see that the foot plays a more active role in running training than you first thought. The foot is necessary for both landing and pushing off the ground. This means that it absorbs the shock of impact when landing and controls the forces of push-off.

Some of the most common injuries that happen to runners, either while running or from negligence afterwards, can seriously hinder progress. Plantar fasciitis tends to happen in those that over train and neglect stretching calf muscles after a workout. The band of foot tissue that runs from the toes to the heel can tear when the foot is overworked. 

It is important to treat the problem at the first signs of pain. An easy way to ease the pain and heal to get back to training is to massage the foot with a golf ball. Roll it under the foot in the sore area. Applying an ice roll (a frozen water bottle works well) under the foot, similar to the golf ball massage, will also help.

Another common running injury is Achilles tendinitis. It is characterized by pain anywhere on the Achilles tendon, but mostly closer to the heel bone. Limited flexibility in the ankle is also a sign of Achilles tendinitis. 

When muscles are tight and not properly stretched, or just overly worked, Achilles tendinitis can happen. Increasing the distance or speed of running without training up to it slowly also causes problems for the Achilles tendon. 

The best way to treat Achilles tendinitis is to stop training. Take an anti-inflammatory pain killer and ice the area several times a day for about 15 minutes each time. Start stretching the calf muscles more regularly after the swelling has gone down and don’t start running again until you are able to do calf raises without pain. 

There are many things that can go wrong with the foot. In order to continue training as normal, it is vital that you properly stretch before and after running. Treat any symptoms at the first sign before it becomes a more serious problem.


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