Common Running Foot Conditions – and how to avoid them!

If you run regularly, you will no doubt be familiar with the aches, pains and injuries that running can cause. Our feet are subject to a number of demands when we run, meaning that it is quite common for runners to experience pain or even injury in their feet. Pain in your feet can easily put the brakes on any training plan – not ideal when you’ve got that big race coming up.

Here are just a few common running conditions – and what you can do to remedy them!

Plantar Fasciitis
Possibly the most common of foot complaints amongst runners, Plantar Fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that stretches at the bottom of your foot called the plantar fascia which connects the toes to the heel. This tissue can tear and then it will inflame, creating a painful sensation when you step or run. Plantar Fasciitis is generally caused by biomechanical flaws, such as having flat arched feet or high arched feet – to avoid plantar fasciitis it is advised that you choose the right running shoes to support your foot type, running insoles can also be used to provide additional support and comfort to the arch.

Athlete’s Foot
A fungal infection, athlete’s can leave your feet dry, red, and itchy. Most common during the summer months, this fungus in caused by the sweat production in the soles of the feet. Wearing moisture-wicking socks should prevent athlete’s foot, your gym socks should also be appropriately aired out before wearing and antifungal powder can also be applied to the feet.

Shin Splints
Most common amongst runners with flat arches, shin splints is a sharp pain below the knee and can affect the front outside part of the leg as well as inside the leg. Choosing shoes that support the arch of your foot can assist in soothing the pain of shin splints while many experts recommend taking a break from running when shin splints occur, this will allow time for the inflammation in your shin to reduce – swimming or cross training are good exercises to do in the meantime. Motion control shoes should combat the reoccurrence of shin splints while severe over pronators will require orthotic insoles to support and ease pain in the arch.

It might not seem like a serious running condition but having that painful blister on your foot or toes can greatly affect your training plans. Blisters are caused by the friction of your socks or shoes rubbing against your skin. Blisters can intensify on race days – this is because increased pace, heat and moisture can increase the friction. Blisters can be remedied by choosing comforting blister-free socks while most runners find that coating their feet with a lubricant such as Vaseline can assist in avoiding blisters. It is advisable to carry with you blister plasters when you run – just in case.

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