Runners tend to injure their foot and leg far more than any other athlete. If you are a professional athlete and experience foot pain due to a lot of running as part of your daily routine, you should take the issue very seriously. You may have developed foot injuries due to muscle strain or due to a more acute condition such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. Also, you might get foot pain from bad running shoes!
Let’s quickly review the most common types of foot injuries:
If you experience chronic swelling and pain on the bottom of your foot, it could be due to a disorder known as plantar fasciitis. Soon, the mild pain will turn into a sharp one that will give you sleepless nights and screams of pain. The pain is like inserting needles or nails into your foot. If your feet are overloaded or you have an abnormal running style, you could develop plantar fasciitis.
As part of the treatment plan, you should improve your walking and running. Also, ditch your tight running shoes. Buy comfortable shoes with a soft sole and support for your arches. Don’t go barefoot. Try to stretch and strengthen your calves and if possible roll your feet on a golf ball.
When the Achilles tendon (a thick band of tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone) becomes inflamed and starts to hurt, the doctor says that you have developed Achilles tendonitis. Blood flow is reduced to the lower part of your body, including your legs and feet. He will feel a sharp pain in the back of the foot and above the heel. Common causes of Achilles tendonitis are extensive training that puts pressure on the lower leg, tight calves, and tight shoes. You can apply ice to the affected part to get some relief. You can also wear braces, do heel raises, and wear comfortable shoes to reduce pain and swelling.
IT band syndrome
The IT or IT band is a tendon that attaches the knee to the hip. When your IT swells, it leads to a condition called IT band syndrome. Runners in particular find it difficult to run downhill as they feel sharp pain in their knees. The pain quickly worsens if left untreated for a long time. You can massage the quadriceps and hamstrings around the affected area and also use a foam roller to loosen the muscles. Don’t run downhill, and if possible, change direction while running in the same direction multiple times.
If you feel a constant throbbing below your kneecap when you run, it’s patellofemoral knee syndrome, or runner’s knee, as it’s popularly called. Running on uneven surfaces wearing bad women’s casual shoes often leads to runner’s knee. Treatment includes stopping running for a while and relaxing. You can apply ice to the swollen area and do some exercises as directed by your doctor. Also, don’t wear tight shoes.
When the shin area starts to hurt, it is due to shin splints. In extreme cases, a shin splint can become a stress fracture along the tibia and cause excruciating pain. The causes of shin splints are the sudden increase in training time and power. Mostly new runners suffer from this problem. You should rest well followed by ice packs on the area of inflammation. Do not increase the intensity of the training suddenly, do it gradually so that your feet get used to your training technique.