Both serious runners and casual runners can experience foot pain. Whether you are a distance runner, a sprinter, or a jogger, it is important that you take proper care of your feet beyond just great running shoes.
The foot is supported by a collection of small bones. There are 26 of them all connected by a network of ligaments, muscles, and tendons, and injuring them is much easier than you probably think. People who are obsessed with running often run with hurt feet, which just makes the injury worse. And once it develops into a real problem, the runner will finally see a podiatrist.
There are a number of common causes for foot pain, especially among runners. Plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, extensor tendonitis, metatarsalgia, and Achilles tendonitis can all affect any runner, but these issues can be avoided by taking good care of your feet. Let’s talk about these foot conditions and what can be done to repair them:
Plantar Fasciitis Hurts the Heel and Into the Arch
The plantar fascia is a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs along the underside of the foot. It extends from the bottom of the heel all the way to the toes. When this tissue is inflamed, it causes stabbing pains at the heel, and this condition is called plantar fasciitis.
The earlier this issue is caught and treated, the easier it is to heal. The longer a person waits, the more the inflammation can develop. The pain can be worsened while standing, walking, or running.
Stress Fractures Develop Gradually
A stress fracture happens from the stress and pressure of constant, repetitive trauma to a bone. This can develop in the leg bones and foot bones from running while carrying heavy loads or even just from walking around while pregnant.
This might barely cause any pain initially; but as the fracture worsens with time, it can cause chronic pain. The bone cannot heal while you are still running and putting pressure on that bone.
Extensor Tendonitis Affects the Top of the Foot
The extensor tendons extend across the top of the foot, going from the front of the shin and branching off into each toe. These tendons enable you to lift and straighten the toes.
If these tendons become inflamed, each time the patient tries to take a step, it causes a sharp pain that feels like a stress fracture but is actually extensor tendonitis. A podiatrist will evaluate your foot and diagnose whether this is the issue.
Metatarsalgia Affects the Ball of the Foot
In metatarsalgia, the ball of the foot becomes inflamed and causes pain through the toes. This is usually a result of poor running form, wearing shoes that are too tight, or engaging in a sport that involves running and jumping.
This condition causes sharp, aching pain in the ball of the foot. When wearing shoes, it can feel like a pebble is stuck under the ball of your foot in your shoe.
Achilles Tendonitis Affects the Strongest Tendon of the Body
The Achilles tendon is in the back of the lower leg, connecting the calf muscle to the heel bone. This tendon allows us to run and jump. Activities that require repeated pushing off of the foot to run and jump, especially basketball, can cause inflammation in the Achilles tendon.
If left untreated, Achilles tendonitis can become chronic Achilles tendonosis, which is a chronic degenerative condition. The longer you go without medical treatment, the worse it becomes – and can eventually be debilitating.
Expert Podiatrist in San Antonio
All of these foot injuries are preventable by wearing the proper shoes, socks, insoles or inserts, and using proper form. If you have foot pain of any kind, contact The Podiatry Group of South Texas today for evaluation and treatment.
Call us at (210) 227-8700 or request an appointment online now, and let us help you get back to running more safely.