Running injuries are common among the top athletes, leisure runners and weekend warriors. When you are using running as a way of increasing your physical activity level, keep in mind these three methods of preventing future injuries to your foot and ankle. If you do develop an injury, a podiatrist can offer helpful treatment options to get rid of your pain and promote complete healing and recovery.
Using Proper Footwear
Wearing proper footwear is one of the most important things that you can do in order to prevent a running injury. If you are not sure of what type of athletic shoes you need or what size or style of shoe is best for your situation, your doctor can make recommendations for you. Replace your shoes every 500 to 600 miles of running. Consider alternating between two properly fitting pairs of shoes.
Strengthening and Training Exercises
Your podiatrist can show you how to do some stretching and training exercises. These exercises will build strength in your ankles. This can help to prevent common runner’s injuries such as sprained ankles. It is a good idea to stretch before and after a run. This helps to loosen your foot’s tendons and ligaments.
Consider using orthotic devices in your shoes to help correct your gait and support your foot. You can use over-the-counter heel or ball of foot pads to provide some cushioning against the impact of your foot hitting the pavement when you run. Custom orthotics are created just for you and worn inside of your shoes. They help to support your foot while you walk or run. These devices distribute the force of your steps and help to protect against injuries such as fractures, sprains and inflammation.
Rest, Ice and Elevation
As soon as you start to feel any pain in your foot or ankle, stop the activity that you are doing. You could apply ice to painful or commonly injured parts of your foot, such as the plantar fascia. Use a wrapped ice pack or a frozen water bottle and apply it to the affected area for up to 10 minutes at a time. This helps to reduce swelling and pain.