The most common running injuries are due to overuse, over training, improper training shoes or a flaw in running form. The important thing is that most running injuries can be prevented.
Here are some of the most common injuries:
Runner’s knee: Runner’s knee is also called patella femoral syndrome and is a common ailment among run. This term is used to refer to a number of medical conditions that cause pain around the front of the knee.
Achilles tendinitis: Achilles tendinitis is an injury that is the result of overuse and degeneration of the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon, the largest tendon in the body, connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Achilles tendinitis often happens when runners suddenly increase the distance or intensity of their runs.
Plantar fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. Plantar fascia is the band of tissue that connects your heel bone to toes. Inflammation of this tissue can be very painful resulting in stabbing pain in the heel especially in the morning.
Shin splints: Shin splints, clinically called medial tibial stress syndrome, is a common injury to runners or people who participate in activities with sudden stops and starts. Pain along the inner edge of the shinbone is an indication of shin splints.
Stress fracture: A stress fracture is an overuse injury. It occurs when muscles become fatigued and are unable to absorb added shock. Eventually, the fatigued muscle transfers the overload of stress to the bone causing a tiny crack called a stress fracture.
For all your foot problems, visit The Podiatrist
Children’s feet change with age. Shoe and sock sizes may change every few months as a child’s feet grow.
- Shoes that don’t fit properly can aggravate the feet. Always measure a child’s feet before buying shoes, and watch for signs of irritation.
- Never hand down footwear. Just because a shoe size fits one child comfortably doesn’t mean it will fit another the same way. Also, sharing shoes can spread fungi like athlete’s foot and nail fungus.
- Examine the heels. Children may wear through the heels of shoes quicker than outgrowing shoes themselves. Uneven heel wear can indicate a foot problem that should be checked by a podiatrist.
- Take your child shoe shopping. Every shoe fits differently. Letting a child have a say in the shoe buying process promotes healthy foot habits down the road.
- Always buy for the larger foot. Feet are seldom precisely the same size.
- Buy shoes that do not need a “break-in” period. Shoes should be comfortable immediately. Also make sure to have your child try on shoes with socks or tights, if that’s how they’ll be worn.
- Consider closed toe shoes. Covering the child’s toes allows for more protection.
Do Your Child’s Shoes “Make The Grade?”
- Look for a stiff heel. Press on both sides of the heel counter. It shouldn’t collapse.
- Check toe flexibility. The shoe should bend with your child’s toes. It shouldn’t be too stiff or bend too much in the toe box area.
- Select a shoe with a rigid middle. Does your shoe twist? Your shoe should never twist in the middle.
- Are the shoes secure on the foot? Laces or Velcro are best to hold the foot in place.
Additional Advice for Parents
- Foot problems noticed at birth will not disappear by themselves. Do not wait until children get older to fix a problem. Foot problems in youths can lead to create problems down the road.
- Get your child checked by The Podiatrist. A lack of complaint by a youngster is not a reliable sign that there is no problem. The bones of growing feet are so flexible that they can be twisted and distorted without the child being aware of it.
- Walking is the best of all foot exercises. Observe your child’s walking patterns. Does your child have gait abnormalities? Correct the problem before it becomes a bigger issue.
- Going barefoot is a healthy activity for children under the right conditions. However, walking barefoot on dirty pavement can expose children’s feet to the dangers of infection through accidental cuts and to severe contusions, sprains or fractures. Plantar warts, a virus on the sole of the foot, can also be contracted.
Children’s sports-related injuries are on the rise. A child’s visit to The Podiatrist can help determine any concerns there may be regarding the child participating in specific sports and help identify the activities that may be best suited for the individual child.
Visit The Podiatrist for any concerns you may have.
Nobody loves their jandals more than us Kiwis. As the warmer weather approaches (we hope), we start digging out the jandals.
They’re so easy and breezy, such an obvious choice, especially when summer reaches its peak and the holidays are in full swing.
But the next time you reach into the closet and pull out your favorite pair, be aware: You could be opening a Pandora’s box of podiatry problems.
Your favorite sassy and affordable flats are an unstable form of footwear, known to wreak havoc on arches, heels and toes, says The Podiatrist.
It’s a disaster waiting to happen. And sure, many people make it through just fine. But the shoes are a problem.
Here are the of wearing the favourite Kiwi fashion accessory and the risks and some tips
Tension for the toes: Wearing jandals may feel like the next-best thing to going barefoot, but your feet are working harder than you think. Jandals force a change in your walking stride. With each step, the toes pull down on the shoe to stabilize the foot against the ground. Your foot has to step forward a little quicker. It’s trying to keep the flip-flop on. The result, is toe pain and stubbed toes.
Bound for blisters: The classic jandal features two straps sprouting from between the first two toes. Everyone dislikes how the rubbing triggers blisters. Problem is, there’s no other place for toes to hang on to the sandal.
Arch of no triumph: Spend too much time walking in jandals, and the muscles that hold up the foot’s arch start to fatigue. Arch pain comes when those muscles change the way they function just to keep you moving along. Runners, hyper-fast walkers and heavier folks will feel this more often.
Plant this: About 15 percent of all adult foot injuries involve plantar fasciitis, that awful pain that comes from the tissue stretching from your heel, through the arch to the toes. It’s impossible to ban jandals, especially in the tropical environment, so if you’re going to the beach, wear your jandals, but don’t take your four kilometre morning walk in jandals. Don’t walk around the Malls doing Christmas shopping in jandals, and don’t go sight seeing on holiday and walk around all day in jandals, because you’re just looking for trouble.
Fractured feet: Stress fractures, often on the top of the foot ,typically don’t come from an injury, but from normal activity. With a stress fracture, you might as well trade in your jandals for an immobilizing foot boot.
Domino effect: One andals injury can lead to more problems, he says. You start walking differently and then your ankle hurts, your knee hurts, your back hurts. It works its way up. People with existing chronic health problems can unknowingly put themselves at risk, too. Anyone with balance problems or foot instability should not consider jandals. Those with diabetes or circulation problems should be careful, as foot punctures and extreme pressure on the balls of your foot can lead to blisters and ulcers.
Hot foot: Everyone has, at one time or another, forgotten to put sunscreen on the top of their jandaled feet. The resulting sunburn is painful enough, but those blisters can evolve into even more serious problems.
Be cautious: Jandals are not the proper footwear for yard work or backyard play. The Podiatrist urges common sense. If you’re mowing, pulling weeds are using a shovel, pull on a sturdy pair of shoes. If you’re getting ready to play catch, touch football or horseshoes, grab your sneakers. You can slip back into your jandals when you’re done.
For all your footcare needs and advice- visit The Podiatrist
Heel and arch pain are the most common foot complaints of individuals over the age of 40. The group that most commonly experiences heel and arch pain consist of middle-aged women. In addition, active athletes and people working on hard surfaces or walking great distances are susceptible to plantar fascitis and developing heel spurs or sore arches. The pain can progressively get worse so that activities of daily living are adversely affected.
Plantar Fascia Defined
The plantar fascia connects to the calcaneus or heel bone on the undersurface of the foot to the bones of the toes. Its purpose is to support the large arch of the foot. When the fascia becomes injured or inflamed, it’s called plantar fascitis.
What Can Cause Plantar Fascitis?
Plantar fascitis begins with injury to the ligaments and fascia. The fascia helps to maintain the large arch on the inside of the foot. It may affect one or both feet. In most cases, it begins gradually and may be made worse by the following:
- Poorly Fitting Shoes – Shoes lacking firm shanks and counters allow the foot to override the shoe so it appears like the foot has slid off the sole of the shoe. This is commonly called “running over the shoe”.
- Pronation and Pes Planus – “Flat feet” is a rolling inward of the arch.
- Prolonged Standing on Hard Surfaces Such as Concrete
- Walking, Dancing or Running Great Distances – These result in repetitive strain on the bottom of the foot.
- Being Overweight – Extra weight on the arches is stressful.
- Sex – Females over age 40 are more susceptible.
Symptoms of Plantar Fascitis
The presentation of complaints to the doctor includes heel pain upon arising first thing in the morning. The first dozen steps or so are very painful until the fascia loosens up and becomes more flexible. The pain seems to subside only to get worse as the day progresses.
Diagnosis of Plantar Fascitis
The diagnosis of plantar fascitis is arrived at from a combination of
history and physical examination of the foot and lower leg. A classic complaint is heel pain when getting out of bed and beginning to walk. Compression of the calcaneus or heel bone on the sides of the heel is painful. X-rays may be necessary if the doctor suspects a stress fracture to one of the small bones of the foot. Many of the causes of plantar fascitis may contribute to a stress fracture in the foot.
Pain and numbness in the foot at night may also be attributed to a condition called tarsal tunnel sydrome. This is a nerve entrapment in the ankle that may produce similar symptoms as those found with plantar fascitis. Both conditions can bother at night when trying to sleep. Other conditions including arthritis, gout and other systemic problems can also contribute to foot pain.
The immediate treatment goal is to reduce the swelling and inflammation to the soft tissue in the foot. Ice treatment to the foot is initially prescribed. Wearing shoes with a firm counter and shank to prevent bowing of the shoe as well as “running over the side of the shoe” is recommended. Discontinuing running and sports activities reduces stress on the foot. The use of orthotics can be very helpful in restoring the arch (flat foot) and correcting pronation (turning in of the foot). Restoring the arch reduces the stress on the knee, hip and spine. Specific exercises will be given for the foot.
It’s difficult for any one treatment protocol to resolve or control plantar fascitis. The combination of proper footwear, treatment, exercise and modification of activity can be successful. Patient compliance is essential to help in the care and treatment. It may take from a few weeks to several months to resolve the problem. Re-injury and aggravation play a large role in the recovery process. The importance of compliance cannot be stressed enough.
If plantar fascitis is ignored and not treated, it may complicate or contribute to ankle, knee, hip and spinal complaints. The biomechanics of gait may be altered.
The Podiatrist has experience in the care and treatment of plantar fascitis and heel spurs. Call today to make an appointment.
Being that your feet are the connection to the ground, they have to primed and steps should be taken to avoid injury that can slow you down or knock you out of the race. So whether you are training to win or simply running to run, it is important to know what foot problems can occur, and hopefully treat them before they become a marathon-breaker.
Specific Marathon Foot Issues: No matter how experienced a runner, the foot is always susceptible to running injuries, and this risk amplified during marathon training. On marathon day, however, there is specific injury risk because runners tend to me more committed to “running though” a problem (new
A method to remember marathon-related foot problems is the mnemonic “ABCD“:
Abrasions & Blisters
Cramping & Tendon Problems
Disorders of the Toenail
Provided below are explanations of marathon-related foot injuries as well as preventative measures. Should you, the reader (or runner), have any additional preventive solutions or tips for any of the running ABCD’s, please share them.
Abrasions & Blisters: Pressure points and repetitive irritation set the stage for abrasions and blisters. Common runner pressure spots are on the top of the toes, big toe joint area and the back part of the heel. Runners with bunions and hammer toes are more likely to have skin irritation. An abrasion is a simple break in the skin, whereas a blister is lifting of the skin with a fluid collection beneath it.
- Preventive Solutions:
Prevention is best form of treatment. Keep skin thoroughly moisturized, as dry
skin is more prone to tearing. Callused areas should be targeted, and urea
creams are specifically useful in breaking down excessive skin build-up.
Callus/corn removers should be used cautiously as they contain salicylic acid
and can excessively deteriorate tissue, leading to open sores.
- Socks are important in the battle
against skin irritation when running long distances. Specialty socks have
specific protective cushioned areas dedicated to pressure spots.
- Ill-fitting footwear is one of the
main reason for friction, so it’s important to have sneakers that best fit your
foot type. Also, carefully inspect the stitching at the front of the sneaker
where the toes bend to be sure that it does not rub when fully extended. Newer
sneakers are more likely to be problematic.
Bone Breaks: Fractures (aka bone breaks) are the most serious problem that a runner could develop. They typically start as a microscopic fracture (stress fracture) and can progress onto a through and through break. Most common are metatarsal stress fractures involving the second toe region. Heel strike runners may be more susceptible to stress fractures of the heel bone.
An acute stress fracture is often present with varying degrees of pain, swelling, and sometimes redness, though stress fractures may occur without you even knowing it. Running with a stress fracture is not medically advised, and most health care professionals would recommend calling off the race. Runners who don’t heed such advice may fully fracture through the bone which could lead to bone displacement (malalignment) — a potentially serious problem. Some people may have brittle bones making them more likely to develop a bone injury. Certain foot types seem to be more prone to stress fractures — very flat feet or very high arched feet.
- Preventive Solutions:
Over stressing the foot is what often leads to fractures. Pain may also be an
indicator that you are training beyond the current capability of your foot, so
it may be necessary to scale back. Pain should not be ignored, and any could be
a sign of a fracture, so seeking professional medical care is recommended.
- More cushioned sneakers do not
necessarily offer more protection from developing an injury, and running form
may be more important. Nonetheless, properly fitting running sneakers are
important to help you become more in tune with your running technique.
Depending of foot structure, orthotics may help balance the foot and take
pressure off those spots prone to stress fractures.
- Proper nutrition is important in
maintaining strong bones. Vitamin C is necessary for collagen formation, a
precursor to bone. Calcium is needed for proper bone health and Vitamin D helps
promote Calcium absorption. Eating a balanced meal should be a part of your
overall health plan.
Cramping & Tendonitis: Biomechanical and structural problems within the foot tend to manifest as shin splints, arch cramping, plantar fasciitis and/or tendinitis. Less experienced runners tend to develop these problems and is commonly the result of training past the capabilities of your foot. Tight musculature may also be at the root of cramping and shin splints. These problems tend to be self-limited and resolve with targeted treatment programs, but can set you back in terms of being marathon ready.
- Preventive Solutions: Building
strength and stamina slowly is the best method to avoid injury. Be sure to
incorporate a thorough stretching program to keep muscles and tendons stretched
and warmed up. Weak muscles within the foot can be strengthened with specific
foot training programs. Ease cramping in the foot with post-run Epsom salt
baths. Deep tissue massage is also a helpful measure.
- Arch supports (orthotics) can help
manage arch pain by providing support and perhaps better alignment of the foot
in certain people. Of course, foot type plays a big role in selecting the
proper amount of support. Running in the wrong-type of sneaker for your foot
may be responsible for discomfort, so changing sneakers may be beneficial. A
break from running may be necessary to resolve the problem. Runners with
persistent problems should seek the advice of a health care professional.
Disorders of the Toenail: A black toenail is a problem that every marathon runner has experienced, and is the result of bleeding beneath the nail plate. Pressure and friction from repetitive running seem to be the culprit. The damaged nail can be painful and often results in the toenail falling off.
Fortunately, a black toenail doesn’t typically interfere with training and common is self-limiting.
- Preventive Solutions:
Prevention is difficult, as the black toenail is often the result of prolonged
toenail irritation from the intense mileage of training. Again, properly
fitting shoes with enough room for the toenails are helpful. Keep toenails well
trimmed to not create a fulcrum for the nail to become lifted. It is unclear if
moisturizing the toenails offers any protective benefit but a soft nail may,
theoretically, be less prone to damage. Should you develop an acute painful
black toenail, then medical attention may be needed to alleviate the active
collection of blood. An irritated loose nail may become infected and this can
By the time marathon day rolls around, and if you have avoided or overcome injury during your training and your feet are pain free, then you likely have feet that are ready to start a marathon.
For any advice on footwear or if you have any problems, make an appointment with The Podiatrist.
One particular injury, known as shin splints, happens more commonly among athletes who engage in running, such as soccer players, football players and runners. Shin splints, however, are not limited to athletes of just these sports.
What are shin splints?
Shin splints is a general term but refers to many types of injuries that occur in the region of the lower leg (where the calf and shin are located). Shin splints can be caused by inflammation or injury to muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones within the lower leg. In some cases, shin splints can be caused by stress fractures in the shin bones.
What are the signs and symptoms of shin splints?
Shin splints are characterized by a great deal of pain to the lower leg, especially so in the lower portion of the shin closer to the foot. The pain usually worsens when physical activity is begun but eases as the activity continues. The pain may return once the physical activity has been discontinued but often returns later, typically the next morning, much more painful than it had been the previous day. The pain typically intensifies when the toes and foot are bent downwards. In some cases, swelling and redness can be observed in the flesh along the shin bone. Sometimes lumps can be felt beneath the skin along
the shin bone. Shin splints may make it difficult and even excruciating to walk or move.
How are shin splints treated?
There is no cure, however, there are many different treatments available that may help ease the pain associated with shin splints. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications may be taken to help reduce any swelling that may be contributing to the pain. When the pain is especially intense, icing the area may help ease the pain. Shin splints can be the result of the stress of flat feet so wearing special orthopedic footwear, such as shoes with arch support or foot orthoses, may help ease the pain associated with shin splints. Sometimes physical therapy and special range of motion exercises may help ease the pain of shin splints. Strapping the affected area also helps relieve some of the symptoms. Rocktape is a very effect strapping solution for all your sports injuries. When shin splints become especially painful, medical interventions and narcotic pain medications may become necessary. Sometimes a physician may order an X-ray to determine whether or not a stress fracture may be the cause of the pain. Crutches may be needed if the pain is bad enough.
If you feel you have ‘shin splints’ or any other foot related problems, visit The Podiatrist.