Helping Seniors Live Healthier Lives

Painful Foot Conditions That Can Keep You Out Of The Marathon

If you enjoy running, then you know how important the health of your feet is. Even minor pain and injury can keep you from getting out on your favorite running path. Here are two common foot problems and how to prevent them from stopping your stride.

Plantar Fasciitis

This is a painful inflammation of a band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, that runs along the bottom of your foot. When this tissue becomes irritated, the pain can be so severe that you can't put weight on your foot. Some of the common symptoms of this include:

  • burning feeling along the bottom of the foot
  • sharp pain when pressing against the heel or at the base of the toes
  • weakness in the foot that causes it to collapse when you step down on it

Causes of This Foot Pain

Some of the common ways that the plantar fascia becomes irritated include:

  • lack of warmup of the foot muscles before you run or exercise
  • overworking the foot muscles
  • improperly fitting athletic shoes
  • weak foot muscles from an injury

Treatment and Prevention

A visit to a podiatrist will confirm plantar fasciitis, and the doctor may offer one of the following treatments:

  • custom orthotics for your shoes to take the pressure off of the plantar fascia
  • physical therapy to strengthen the foot muscles to prevent future occurrences

You can also do a number of things to prevent this painful foot condition, such as:

  • stretching exercises for your feet before running
  • warming up your feet in cool weather
  • find running shoes that support your feet without putting pressure on the bottom on the foot

Achilles Tendonitis

This condition is caused by the irritation of the large tendon that attaches your calf muscle to the heel. When the Achilles tendon is irritated, it becomes inflamed and painful. You'll have difficulty flexing your foot and putting full weight on it. Some of the other symptoms include:

  • sharp pain in the tendon when weight is put on your foot
  • pain radiating up into your calf muscle

Causes of this Foot Pain

The Achilles tendon can become irritated by:

  • lack of warmup stretching of the tendon
  • overworking the foot and calf muscles
  • poorly fitting athletic shoes

Treatment and Prevention

The foot doctor will also diagnose this tendon problem and offer these treatments:

  • custom orthotics to support the heel and ankle while the tendon heals
  • physical therapy on the Achilles tendon and calf muscles

You can also prevent Achilles tendonitis by:

  • adequate stretching of the foot and calf muscles before exercising
  • warming up the feet and legs before running in cool weather
  • wearing running shoes that don't rub against the tendon

For more information, contact Family Foot & Ankle Physicians or a similar organization.