Running Tips To Keep Feet Healthy This Cross Country Season & All Year!

This is the time of year when all runners want to be in their best shape possible and stay injury free during this critical training season.  With high school and college runners beginning their season and the Columbus, OH marathon coming up in October, runners of all ages need to be functioning at their peak level.

There are a few things runners starting up running for the first time, or those more experienced runners who are upping their intensity should do to stay injury free.  Wearing the proper running shoe is absolutely imperative to avoiding injuries.  Shoes not only need to fit properly, but they should have the appropriate amount of support, stability and cushioning for your foot.  By scheduling a checkup with your podiatrist before you have begun purchasing expensive running sneakers, they can evaluate your type of foot and how it functions so that you can use that information to make an appropriate shoe choice.  Black toe nails can develop when shoes are too small from the foot jamming against the front of the toebox and causing bruising under the nail.  Shoes that do not fit properly may allow too much slippage or rubbing of the shoe against the skin causing calluses, and blisters.  A few good tips to help ensure you get the right fit of running shoe include trying on shoes at the end of the day when feet are slightly swollen and wear the type of socks you will be wearing when you are running.  Shoe types vary based on whether you tend to overpronate, and typically have a flatter foot, or supinate, in which case shoes tend to be more worn on their outer edge.  If a person has a severe enough problem with pronation, supination, or problems in foot function, a custom orthotic may be needed to allow the foot to function to the peak of its ability and to prevent injury.

Along with proper shoes and orthotics, stretching and warming up are other simple ways to avoid two of the most common running problems: plantar fasciitis and shin splits.  Shin splints and plantar fasciitis are both inflammations at the point where the muscle and connective tissue, respectively, attach to bone.  Stretching, warming up and slowly increasing activity all help avoid the pain of shin splints by decreasing the chances of placing extra strain on the muscle attachment to the tibia, or shin bone.    Stretching the calf muscles can help to prevent plantar fasciitis by allowing for normal range of motion at the ankle joint and thus reducing the strain placed on the deep connective tissue, plantar aponeurosis that becomes inflamed and causes heel pain.

Happy fall training to all the Columbus and Dublin area runners and remember that if you experience foot or ankle pain while running, do not wait to contact your podiatrist until a serious injury has already progressed!

Please visit www.ColumbusFoot.com for more information or call 614-885 FEET (3338) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington. If you would like to see a podiatrist in Dublin, Ohio near Tuttle Crossing, call 614-885-3338 for an appointment.

By Dr. Animesh (Andy) Bhatia