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Help for Running Injuries: Choose the Path to Healthy Feet

The path to becoming a great runner is lined with great rewards and some risks. One you may not have considered is the air temperature. Athletes are greatly impacted by both heat and cold, so it’s important to dress appropriately for the weather. While the environment can impact the whole body, the most common running injuries affect the feet, ankles, and legs.

Prevention and Preparation Keep You on the Path to Running Success

Preparing to run includes more than nice looking workout clothes. In fact, proper shoe selection is key to your success. Before you shop, talk with the staff at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists about your individual arch type, gait, foot structure, and any special accommodations needed. Custom orthotics, paired with quality shoes, may give you the boost you need to run without foot and ankle pain. Once you have your new pair, toss the old ones—they only last about 300 to 400 miles, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association.

Once you have your shoes, start your workout gradually to avoid running injuries. If you have been running for a while and are planning to increase your distance, be careful to take your time and listen to your feet! Pain is a sign that you have pushed too hard, too soon. Dynamic stretching before a run and a cool-down afterward can be helpful in injury prevention.

Don’t Lose Your Way Due to a Common Running Injury

Some people start running, incur an injury, and stop this type of exercise—forever! We believe that the more information you have, the better your response can be if you get hurt. An injury may slow you down, but you can stay on the path with the help of the Austin experts in sports injuries.

Achilles Tendinitis: Overuse injuries are the bane of any committed runner and the largest tendon in the body, the Achilles, is not exempt. Pushing a run too far or too hard can result in this tendon--the connector between the muscles in the calf and the heel--becoming injured. Treatments include rest, orthotics, and strength exercises. Surgery may be necessary if conservative measures fail, or if a rupture occurs.

Blisters: Small but painful—a blister can really rub a runner the wrong way! Joking aside, you can prevent these uncomfortable sores by choosing the right socks or using moleskin to cover areas where friction might occur. Keep the area clean and watch for signs of infection.

Ankle Sprains: A wrong turn of the foot can result in a muscle sprain. Watch your footing and choose paths that are free of obstacles, if possible. Trail runners must be especially wary as they run over rough terrain. Your healing time and aftercare instructions will depend upon the grade (severity) of your injury.

Plantar Fasciitis: Pounding the pavement (or the trail) can lead to significant heel pain, which is often related to this common condition. The plantar fascia goes along the bottom of the foot and serves as the connector between the toes and the heels. Over time, inflammation can occur leading to a lot of pain with your first steps of the morning. If ignored, chronic heel pain can develop. The earlier you seek help, the more likely that conservative measures such as stretching, orthotics, and splinting may improve your symptoms.

Stress Fractures: Some cracks or breaks to the bone occur due to trauma, but others result from excessive stress on the muscles over time. As they tire, they no longer absorb the shock and the energy impacts the bone. Worn-out shoes can be one contributing factor. Don’t trade your sneakers for a cast—check out foot and ankle pain right away!

Proactive or Reactive: Which Path Will You Choose?

Runners are dedicated to their sport. Dr. Craig H. Thomajan DPM, FACFAS and Dr. Shine John, DPM, FACFAS are dedicated to you and your foot health! Choose the proactive path and let our experts help you from start to finish. Whether you need information about the best shoes, you want to address an existing foot condition, or you need treatment for a current injury--we are here for you. Dial (512) 328-8900 or schedule an appointment online.

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Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists