2 Common Foot Problems That All Runners Should Watch Out For

Running is a very popular pastime, whether it is in elite competitions, as a way to keep fit and healthy, or simply as a pleasant recreational activity. However, as beneficial as running can be, it does bring with it the risk of foot injuries. Whether you are an elite runner, or simply a casual jogger, it is extremely important to treat and prevent such problems, as if they are ignored, they can cause irreversible damage that may end your running career once and for all. Learning to recognise and understand some of the common problems will allow you to take preventative measures, and know when to seek help from podiatrists or other specialists

Achilles Tendonitis

The Achilles tendon is a band of tough tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel of the foot. Achilles tendonitis is when the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed, leading to a sharp pain and swelling just above the heel.

Achilles tendonitis occurs when the Achilles tendon becomes overburdened. This overburdening can be the result of tight calf muscles, unsupportive footwear, or a sudden increase in the intensity and length of running.

Thankfully, Achilles tendonitis can often be treated simply and quickly. Resting, stretching and icing the affected area will help to reduce the pain and swelling. To prevent any recurrence of the injury, it is important to work on improving the strength and flexibility of the lower legs. Weighted exercises that target the lower legs, such as calf raises, will loosen and strengthen the calf muscles, thus reducing the burden placed on the Achilles tendon when running.

Friction Blisters

It is likely that most runners have experienced blisters at one time or another. Commonly occurring on the heel or toes, blisters are the result of friction, which stimulates the body to develop a layer of fluid under the outer layer of skin (epidermis). This is in fact a defence mechanism, intended to provide a 'cushion' and protect the skin from further injury.

Blisters can be prevented by reducing friction on the feet. For example, ensuring your shoes fit well and do not rub. However, should a blister occur, it is usually best not to pop it. Small, non-painful blisters can simply be left alone. Once the friction is reduced, these blisters will heel themselves. However, if the blister is painful or very large, it is advised that you pop it using a sterile needle, and do not remove the outer layer of skin. Blisters should be checked for redness, streaking or pus, all of which can indicate infection. Should these occur, you should contact a doctor or podiatrist immediately.

For more information, talk with a company like Allied Ankle & Foot Care Centers PC.