Many runners experience pain in the soles, arches, heels, top and side of the foot and/or in the toes and toenails after running. This is a common problem, yet its causes and the symptoms differ from one runner to another.
It is hard to know whether your post-running foot pain is a simple matter of fatigue and/or poor footwear or a more serious condition requiring treatment by a podiatrist. In this article we discuss common types of post-running foot pain and provide information about causes and possible treatment. Read on to learn more.
Location, Location, Location...............
When evaluating the seriousness and possible treatments for your foot pain, the first step is to determine precisely where the pain is centered.
If you are experiencing burning pain or stabbing pain in your arches, plantar fasciitis may be your problem. This is especially true if:
There are several causes of plantar fasciitis. You may overpronate (roll your feet inward too much) when running. This is very common if you are flat-footed. Alternately (or simultaneously) you may have very tight calf muscles or very tight arches.
Home remedies for plantar fasciitis include:
If these remedies do not help within a couple of weeks, see your podiatrist. You may need specialized exercises or custom orthotics.
If your shoes are too tight and cause pressure and friction on your toenails, you could end up with a subungual hematoma (black toenail). This is a deep bruise underneath the toenail.
The best thing you can do is relieve the pressure on your toenails and allow the nail to grow out on its own. Once pressure and friction are removed, blood circulation under the nails will improve and the bruising will dissipate. As your nail grows naturally, the damaged nail will be replaced by new, healthy nail.
You must see your doctor if you see any signs of infection under or around your toenails. Likewise, severe pain is an indication you should see your doctor. Be sure that all of your shoes have a roomy toe box, and consider wearing running shoes that are a size larger than your normal shoe size.
4. Upper Foot
Pain on the top part of your foot may be caused by a condition called extensor tendonitis. Symptoms may include a lump on the tendon and/or generalized swelling on the topside of the foot.
If you lace up your shoes too tightly or simply wear tight shoes, you may develop extensor tendinitis. This condition can also be caused by excessive training, tight muscles in the calves and/or fallen arches. If you run uphill or use a treadmill a great deal, you will have a greater tendency to stress the extensor tendons. This can cause inflammation.
There are several home remedies for this condition. They include:
If these remedies do not provide relief within a couple of weeks, see your podiatrist to determine appropriate treatment.
Runners often experience tingling or numbness in the front of the foot, even when the weather is not cold. As with many other foot maladies, improper footwear is often the culprit. If you wear shoes that are too tight, or if you lace your shoes too tightly, you restrict blood circulation in the feet.
Excessively tight muscles can also cause constriction and pressure on nerves in the lower legs and feet. This can cause numbness and tingling. If you experience numbness and tingling in the forefoot even with well-fitted shoes, you may need to take stretch breaks while running. Stretch your feet, ankles and calves and massage your feet to improve blood circulation.
Remember to stretch before and after running. Using yoga or other light exercise as a warm-up can help you prevent tightness and cramps, which may cause constriction. Focus on stretching the calves, hamstrings and quadriceps. Use a foam roller to massage your feet when you are resting.
6. Sides Of The Feet
The skin on the sole of your foot can hurt because of stone bruises, blisters or athlete's foot.