When it comes to running, your feet are your most important tools. Knee pain or hamstring pain can often be worked through, but foot pain can take you out of the game for a long time. Fortunately, many foot problems can be easily prevented and avoided. If you are a serious runner, it is important to know what kinds of foot problems you are susceptible to, as well as ways to prevent them. Listed below are three common foot problems that runners regularly face, as well as tips for avoiding them.
1. Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is a highly common runner's injury. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia, which is the connective tissue attaching the heel to the base of the toes, becomes inflamed. It is often caused by over-training, especially if you are increasing your speed or mileage too quickly. To prevent plantar fasciitis, it is recommended that you increase your mileage by no more than 10 percent each week. Additionally, make sure that you are stretching the plantar fascia, as it is not naturally flexible.
2. Runner's Toes
Less of an injury and more of an irritation, runner's toes are uncomfortable and unsightly. Luckily, they're also easy to prevent. Runner's toes occur when the toes and toenails become bruised from continuously hitting against the toe of the shoe. This is especially common if your shoes are too small or if you spend a lot of time running downhill. To prevent runner's toes, make sure to keep your toenails neatly trimmed. Runner's toes usually heal on their own; however, if a bruised toenail does not go away and is very painful, you may need to visit a podiatrist to have it professionally drained.
3. Adductor and Abductor Hallucis
The adductor and abductor hallucis muscles run horizontally and lengthwise across the foot, respectively. When these muscles tighten, pain occurs, making running uncomfortable and difficult. Adductor and abductor hallucis occur most often from lack of arch support, so having your running shoes properly fitted can help to prevent this condition. Additionally, stretching and strengthening these muscles with exercises like resistance band pulls and arch raises will help improve your running.
If you are serious about running, or would one day like to be, it is important to know about the foot problems you might be at risk for and work to prevent them. Remember: it is always easier to prevent an injury than it is to treat it. Go to site for more information.