Have you resolved to get more exercise in 2016? If so, the podiatrists at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists encourage you to make a plan that steers your feet away from injury. It’s important to start out any exercise plan slowly and cautiously, but it’s especially important to consider foot health if you’re planning to begin running or jogging. If you haven’t been terribly active and you suddenly begin jogging 3 miles per day, the bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles of your feet will probably complain in the form of an injury.
Good news and bad news
Here’s the good news: running is a fantastic form of cardiovascular exercise that can get you in shape, help you lose weight, or prepare you for an upcoming race. The bad news is that if you start out with too much too fast, your feet are at risk for any number of injuries that we associate with repetitive stress. Some of the most common include:
- Plantar fasciitis – pain in your heel caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia
- Stress fractures – small cracks in the bones of your foot
- Achilles tendinitis – the tendon running from your calf to the back of your heel becomes strained or inflamed
- Neuromas – thickening of the tissue surrounding a nerve in the toes
- Torn or ruptured tendons – especially the Achilles tendon
Have a plan before you begin running
- See a podiatrist for a full examination of your feet before you begin your running program. Our experienced podiatrists, Michael L. Ronsenberg and Dr. Heidi M. Christie, can take a full medical history and clear your feet for exercise.
- Buy good shoes that are designed for running and jogging. Don’t be tempted to wear the shoes you have on hand – basketball or tennis shoes will not support your feet the way a good running shoe will.
- Research how to begin a running regimen that increases mileage gradually, and stick to it. A quick internet search will yield many options that we will be happy to review with you.
- Minimize the risk of repetitive stress injuries by cross-training: lift weights, swim, or bike.
- Remember to stretch and to rest! Your feet need time to recover, so don’t ignore the stretching exercises or those rest days in your plan.
If running causes your feet pain, swelling, or redness that doesn’t go away with RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation), visit us at our Montgomery office. Make an appointment online, or call us at (334) 396-3668.