Since the foot is responsible for shock absorption and stabilization during the landing and push phase of your foot strike, it’s no wonder foot pain can be a big problem for runners.Learn about the common causes of foot pain and their cures, so you can get back to running.


Symptoms: Pain is most often at the heel but can also occur on the bottom of the foot along the arch.

Causes: Worn-out running shoes, the wrong shoes for your foot type, increasing your mileage too suddenly, overpronation from flat feet and tightness in the calf muscles are all common causes of plantar fasciitis.

Treatment: Choose the proper running shoe for your foot type, stretch your calf muscles after workouts, and never increase your mileage more than 10% per week. To treat your symptoms, roll a golf ball along your arch, do ice massage, wear orthotics and tape your foot to help decrease symptoms. It’s also a good idea to wear shoes that support your foot even when you’re not running until symptoms have improved.


Symptoms: Most often pain occurs at the back of the heel.

Causes: Tight calf muscles, overtraining, doing too much speed work or hill training can all cause Achilles Tendonitis.

Treatment: Since running only worsens symptoms, it’s usually a good idea to take some time off. Ice the area 3–4 times per day for 15–20 minutes. When the pain subsides, slowly get back into your running routine. If your pain has not subsided after 2–3 weeks of treatment, schedule an appointment with your podiatrist.


Symptoms: Pain is often in the forefoot just below the base of the toes and is often described as a burning or stabbing sensation.

Causes: During foot strike, if your forefoot lands unevenly to one side more than the other, irritation or inflammation can occur. Foot mechanics, tight calf muscles or Achilles tendons or calluses that affect foot strike are all likely causes.

Treatment: Take time off of running. Reduce mileage and switch to either low-impact activities or running on the treadmill as long as there’s no pain. Choose good footwear and ice as needed for pain along with anti-inflammatory medications. If your pain hasn’t subsided in 7–10 days see your podiatrist.


Symptoms: A burning sensation, pain or numbness in the forefoot from inflammation of the nerve between the metatarsals. Most often the pain is located just behind the third and fourth toes.

Causes: The most common culprit for developing Morton’s Neuroma in runners is wearing shoes that are too narrow or have a slightly higher heel than forefoot, which can put more pressure on the ball of the foot.

Treatment: While surgery, cortisone injections and custom orthotics may be needed for extreme cases, most can be cured by switching running shoes and using a metatarsal pad.

If you have any questions about your foot health or symptoms that you are experiencing, please don’t hesitate to call Dr. Kovac at Idaho Foot & Ankle Center 208-529-8393 or schedule an appointment online.

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