How to get rid of foot pain when running
Running is a fantastic way to stay healthy, boost your well-being, and burn calories. Plus, you get to experience all the stunning scenery that’s on your doorstep!
However, foot pain is a common side effect of running, with an estimated four out of five runners suffering some type of foot injury each year.
Why do runners experience foot pain? Running puts a lot of stress on the delicate bones and joints in the foot. Blisters, sprains, fractures, toenail damage, and the inflammation of the plantar fascia, also known as plantar fasciitis, are common injuries amongst both new and experienced runners.
So, what can you do to reduce the risk of foot pain when running? Here are some ways to keep on running and give your feet a break.
1. Stretch before and after
When time is short, you might be tempted to give the warm-up and cool-down a miss. However, a good stretch before and after your run can get the blood flowing to your muscles and reduce the risk of injury.
The knee-to-wall stretch, standing heel raises, and standing calf stretch are all great ways to flex your feet!
2. Invest in the right footwear
If you’re serious about running, it’s important to choose a running shoe that doesn’t just fit perfectly, but aligns with your unique running stride.
People run in different ways. For example, some people roll their feet inward when they hit the ground, while others roll their feet outward. Choosing a shoe or selecting an insole that accommodates how you run minimizes the risk of pain and injury.
Many running stores offer gait analysis to identify how you run. Alternatively, you can wet your foot and step on a paving slab to learn more about your foot type.
3. Ice your feet
Professional athletes swear by a cold ice bath, and with good reason! Applying ice to your foot after running reduces swelling and soreness and refreshes your muscles. And the good news is that you don’t need lots of fancy equipment; a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel will do!
Ice your feet as soon as possible, and aim for about 15 to 20 minutes before taking the ice away. Never apply ice before a run – this can numb your foot and increase the risk of injury.
Freezing a water bottle and rolling it under your feet offers relief if you’re suffering from pain in the sole of your foot, like plantar fasciitis.
4. Exercise in different ways
Running is excellent for fitness, but it’s extremely high impact. When your heel hits the ground, you’re producing a force equal to three times your body weight!
Cross-training keeps you healthy and strengthens muscles you might not otherwise use when running, keeping the pressure off your feet. Swimming, cycling, and yoga are superb for maintaining your fitness levels, as well as keeping your exercise regime interesting!
5. Take a break
And finally, while you can run with foot pain, it’s important to remember that this can slow down the healing process and even make some injuries worse.
Don’t be afraid to take a break while you recover – your feet will thank you for it!