We are now two weeks into 2019, and if this is the year that you’ve decided to take your fitness seriously we want to make sure your feet stay healthy so you can reach your goals! It doesn’t matter if you’re brand new to running or have participated in 10 marathons, you need to take proper steps before running to avoid foot pain — especially in the heel area. Heel pain is very common for people who participate in high-impact activities like running.
While some people will want to jump right into their workout so they can start losing weight or seeing results immediately, others will use caution and ease into the process. Taking the time to stretch or finding the right shoe is crucial in avoiding heel pain, but there’s more to it than that. Here are some steps you can take in order to avoid heel pain or any related injuries:
1. Buy Proper Running Shoes
Running shoes should provide support for your arches and cushion to reduce that impact between the ground and your feet. Avoid shoes that are too tight or ones that rub or irritate your heel bone. Be sure to walk around the shoe store and even try running before purchasing any new shoes.
2. Don’t Forget to Warm Up
Warming up before taking a run is a great habit to get into, especially when it comes to preventing heel pain. Try stretching out your feet from a seated position or rolling a ball under your foot for at least two minutes. This should loosen the muscles and help prevent any pain/soreness.
3. Look at Running Surfaces
Hard surfaces like concrete can take their toll on your feet over time. Consider changing your route to include a grass, sand or dirt surfaces to reduce the impact on your feet.
4. Take Advantage of Orthotics
Even if you have the most comfortable running shoe possible, the support or cushioning might not be enough to protect your heels. Custom orthotics are made specifically for your feet, so they are more effective than over-the-counter shoe inserts.
Just because you’ve set a New Year’s resolution, it doesn’t mean you have to accomplish it in a week. Like the other muscles in your body, your feet and the muscles within need periods of rest between activities. Don’t be afraid to take a day off if you are sore.
If heel soreness or pain doesn’t go away on its own, it could be a structural issue with your foot or it could be a condition like Plantar Fasciitis or Heel Spurs. In these cases, your podiatrist at Foot & Ankle Associates can diagnose and offer a treatment plan that will get you back out and running ASAP. Click here to schedule a consultation online or click below to call the office that is most convenient for you.