Running can take a toll on your body, especially your legs and feet. And since pain and injury aren’t usually going to stop most runners from running, it’s important to work on preventing injuries. Here are a few things that are crucial to steering clear of foot and ankle injuries due to running.
Strength training: Cardio is important, but without strength training your muscles are more susceptible to injury. Running breaks down muscle fibers, so those fibers need to be strengthened on a regular basis. Plantar Fasciitis is a problem that is common among runners, and by strengthening that area of the foot and surrounding muscles it can help to prevent heel pain.
Stretching: Stretching is extremely important in any sport to preventing injury. Stretching helps the muscles to recover quicker, and provides a larger range of motion.
Don’t over do it/know your limits: If you are new to running, take your time and listen to your body. If you run too far and too fast in the beginning, the risk of injury increases quite a bit. Always have days to rest and recover. If you feel like something might be wrong, go see your podiatrist before it gets worse.
Run with good posture: If you are always leaning forward as you run it can lead to knee and ankle pain since there is so much stress being put on those joints. Remember to keep your shoulders back and your head up.
Wear the correct shoe for your foot: Wearing a shoe that is too big, too small, or not the correct support for your arch (or lack there of) increases the chance of injury significantly. If you are unsure of what shoe type is best for your foot, see your local podiatrist so that he can evaluate your foot and send you in the right direction.
Don’t overwear your shoes: Depending on how far you run each week will determine how long your shoes will last. Running in worn out shoes can lead to plantar fasciitis as well as other foot injuries due to the lack of support in the shoe.
If you have any questions about injury prevention and running, Dr. Evan Merrill is the guy for you. Being an avid runner himself, Dr. Merrill has had experience with running injuries and knows the importance of taking care of your feet. Stop by Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle LLC today! You can make an appointment by filling out our online form or by calling 541-776-3338.