If you’ve been running for any length of time, even just a few weeks, you’ve probably noticed that running leads to quite a few aches and pains. Whether it’s just the soreness you feel after a hard run, or that dull ache in you knee that never seems to go away, we become way more aware of those hot spots as we continue to run.
Sometimes this pain is just due to the fact that we pushed our body really hard during a speed workout, or maybe we ran our longest distance yet. But other times this pain can be a red flag. More often than not, when you feel a nagging pain on your run it could very well be the start of an injury.
As runners, taking precautions like focused strength training or extra rest days is not our top priority. We want to head outside, log our miles, and get back to our day. Adding in minutes of recovery after each run often feels like more of a time commitment than the hour plus we just spent outside running.
Even so, we know that we should be incorporating these injury prevention strategies into our weekly routine. If not, we may end up with an injury that we cannot run through. One of the most common areas of pain while running is our feet – the body part that takes the brunt of our constant pounding as we log many miles.
Today I’d like to share a guest post written by Patrick Greer, a blogger at Fix Your Walk. Patrick is a fitness trainer and a physical therapist who shares tips and treatments for anyone suffering form a foot injury. You can find his articles, tips, treatment advice and home remedies at https://fixyourwalk.com. Check out his article below!
Foot Pain after Running
Causes and the Best Prevention and Treatment Methods
Running is one of the most effective forms of exercise and it will always be part of many fitness routines. Whether you want to shed those extra pounds, get in shape for an upcoming marathon or even just remain fit, running can be very helpful. But, it is not always that rosy. Apart from the obvious tiredness that comes from running there is also the risk of injuries or ending up with sore and achy feet.
Foot pain after running is not only annoying but can also prevent you from running as much as you might want to as it is very discouraging. But, it is always easier to deal with if you understand its causes, and best prevention and treatments methods.
What Causes Foot Pain after Running
There are various things that can cause injuries from running and foot pain. While in most cases they will vary from one person to the next, the following are the most common ones.
#1 Being Overweight
While running is one of the best ways to lose weight, the extra kilos also put a lot of strain on your feet, since your feet have to carry several times your total body weight when running. Any extra weight will put your feet at more risk for more injuries. Even if you do not end up injured, the feet are likely to become sore and painful.
#2 Overdoing Things
It is important to set goals and have something to work towards when developing your running routine. But, this does not mean that it is okay to push your body further than it can handle. Running for more distance than your feet can handle and doing it too often can result in painful feet after your runs. Running is more productive when completed in moderation – always listen to your body.
#3 Running on Bad Terrain
Your choice of running terrain is as important as the distances that you cover and the frequency of your runs. Running in uneven terrain or excessively hard surfaces will not only increase your risk of injuries from running but also the likelihood of developing foot pain because your feet will be subjected to unnecessary pressure and will have to make unnatural strides.
#4 Wearing Improper Shoes
Improper footwear is one of the main reasons why some people have foot pain after running. In fact, for many runners, it is the only reason. If your shoes do not fit well or are not supportive enough, you will be at higher risk of ending up with achy feet. Also, poor quality outsoles that do not absorb shock from the impact of running can cause problems.
Ways to Prevent and Treat Running Foot pain
Now that you know some of the probable causes of your achy feet the other important thing is to learn how to prevent it. Luckily there are many things that you can do.
#1 Stretch Before and After Running
Every experienced runner will tell you that stretching before and after running is vital as it is very useful for the muscles. By stretching before a run, you relax the muscles and warm them up. Preparing them for the run ahead of time is vital for preventing foot pain and injuries. Stretching after a run helps the body calm down and relaxes the muscles after the intense physical activity.
#2 Keep the Runs Short and Useful
You do not need to run for dozens of kilometers every day to shed weight or remain in shape. Keeping your runs short and intense works just as well, and it also minimizes the risk of injuries from running and foot pain. A simple way to make the runs intense is running on a relatively steeper surface.
#3 Get Proper Running Shoes
If you are serious about running and hope to do it for long without always ending up with painful feet, you need to invest in a good pair of running shoes. Go for shoes that not only fit well but are also highly breathable, supportive and provide enough cushioning to absorb the shock that comes from repeatedly stepping on the hard ground.
#4 Soak and Massage the Feet
If you do end up with painful feet even after doing everything right, there are still many ways of dealing with it. Whatever you do should always include a foot soak and foot massage as they are both very helpful. Soak your feet in Epsom salt for a few minutes, and finish by massaging with your favorite essential or massage oil.
Foot pain and injuries are common problems that runners have to deal with. While sometimes they are inevitable, it is always a good idea to know the cause and ways to prevent and treat them. Also note that in some cases the pain can be a result of an underlying foot problem that may require medical attention. If your pain is persistent and does not go away even after doing all the above you should talk to a chiropodist.