The weather is finally warming up, days are becoming longer and with beach weather just around the corner, it's the best time to start a workout regimen. So get your shoes on and go for a run, right?
Running outside in this gorgeous weather seems to increase this time of year and so does the rate of running injuries.
There are many injuries that can occur in the foot and in general the lower limbs that runners need to be aware of. Heel pain, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and blisters are a few such injuries seen in runners. Although the list goes on to include stress fractures, Morton's neuroma, calluses, athlete's foot, etc., we will discuss the top four injuries commonly seen.
Runners will relate a sharp pain or ache in the middle of the heel or along the bottom of the foot in the arch area. A sign whose presence means the disease is present beyond any doubt is post static dyskinesia, which is simply pain after periods of inactivity, i.e., in the morning after sleeping or sitting at a desk for prolonged periods of time, which will produce a very painful gait.
Common causes of plantar fasciitis are overtraining; inadequate calf stretches or biomechanical flaws, i.e., flat or high-arched feet or a tight Achilles tendon; or even problems caused by wearing worn-out running shoes.
Prevention is key and seeking immediate treatment is necessary. If immediate treatment is not sought, this injury becomes chronic in nature and chronicity leads to a long recovery time. And for avid runners, this means time off from their running.
Tips to prevent plantar fasciitis include increasing mileage steadily when running, wearing proper shoes for one's foot type and stretching. Stretching of both the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia are very important and the cornerstones of treatment as well as prevention.
Advanced Foot Care provides many over-the-counter and durable medical equipment that will help resolve plantar fasciitis. The practice educates the patient on the foot's anatomy, how the injury occurred and how to treat the injury so that they can go back to running. And when needed, local corticosteroid injections and oral and topical anti-inflammatories are prescribed to decrease the inflammation. Another treatment offered is the Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Treatment. The procedure eliminates pain and helps restore full mobility. More than 80 percent of patients treated report to be pain-free or have a significant pain reduction. To learn more about this procedure contact Advanced Foot Care.
The Achilles tendon is the tendon connecting the calf muscles to the back of the heel bone. The Achilles tendon tightens when placed under too much stress, which leads to inflammation of the tendon.
Symptoms associated with this disorder are pain within the tendon, tenderness or intense pain when the sides of the tendon are squeezed. If this disorder continues, the tendon can further degenerate and may develop nodules in the area where the tissue is damaged.
Runners who do repetitive activity involving the Achilles tendon put too much stress on the tendon too quickly, which can lead to micro injury of the tendon. People with excessive pronation (flat arches) also have a tendency to develop Achilles tendinitis due to an increased demand placed on the tendon.
Treatment varies based on the duration and degree of damage to the tendon. In the early stages it may be recommended to immobilize the tendon to reduce forces and aid in healing, ice it to reduce swelling, take oral or apply topical medications and engage in physical therapy, which can be provided at AFC. The facility's therapists are focused and trained mainly on the lower-limb quadrant.
Blisters are caused by friction. With runners, it is common to hear complaints of blisters that occur when either the shoes or socks continually rub against the skin. Some components that can initiate a blister are foot abnormalities such as bunions and hammer toes or ill-fitting shoes. Increased perspiration can make feet swell, which in turn increases friction. A blister is a buildup of fluid under the skin caused by increased friction. This buildup causes pain and increased pressure. Blisters can turn into a health risk if they become infected.
Key to reduction of blisters is moisturizing. Both sweaty and dry skin are likely to attract blisters, so it is important to have proper skin hydration. Advanced Foot Care provides various types of topical lotions to help keep skin hydrated. Along the lines of increased moisture in the dark, warm confines of shoes is another problem seen in avid runners, Athlete's foot.
AFC provides a full lower-extremity exam, shoe evaluation and options for arch support, as well as custom orthotics for patients. Frequent follow-ups are scheduled to check on the integrity of the arch support and that the feet are doing well with the inserts.
Call Advanced Foot Care at any of the six locations or visit