Running is a great way to get exercise and enjoy the warm summer weather. However, nothing can ruin a good run quite like pain! Some studies estimate as much as 65-80% of runners will experience an injury in any given year! Whether an athlete is a recreational, competitive, or elite runner, foot and ankle health is essential for optimal performance. Runners are susceptible to many different injuries including heel pain (plantar fasciitis)Achilles Tendonitis, stress fracturesand Sever’s Disease in children and adolescents.

There are some things runners can do to reduce their risk of injuries and increase their enjoyment of their run!
1. Choose the right running shoes for you. Different foot types need different shoe characteristics. Do your feet tend to roll inward when you run? Do they not roll in enough? Are you a toe runner or a heel striker? Find a shoe that is supportive and can meet the needs of your feet!
2. Build up your mileage slowly. Overuse injuries can be high, especially in runners. Avoid sudden large increases in mileage or intensity when running.
3. Do exercises to strengthen the glute. Good balance for each leg can help prevent injuries all over the body. Weak gluteus muscles can cause knee injuries including ACL and MCL tears. Do squats, single-leg bridges, clamshells, and banded lateral walks often and even just before you go out for a run to help.
4. Foam roll your thighs and calves. This simple exercise can help reduce muscle soreness and increase your range of motion.
5. Don’t forget your core. Working on your core strength can help improve stability and keep your body balanced. Try forward and side planks as well as leg extensions.
6. Stretch, stretch, stretch. Stretching before and after a run can help, especially if you are feeling tight.
7. Listen to your body. Pay attention to how every muscle feels before, during, and after you run. Take time off to rest your muscles, especially if you are feeling pain. Use the R.I.C.E. protocol: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Taking anti-inflammatory medications can also help with the pain. If you have pain that persists, continuing to run can cause even more problems! Contact a Podiatrist to get the right diagnosis and treatment plan for you.

Dr. Kylin Kovac and Dr. Jed Erickson at Idaho Foot & Ankle Center specialize in many injuries runners experience including Plantar Fasciitis, tendonitis, foot or ankle fractures, sprains, and much more. Our clinic offers many different treatments for these injuries including MLS Laser Therapy which can help speed the healing process for many different injuries and conditions. We even have X-Rays right in our office! Contact our Podiatrists at Idaho Foot and Ankle Center today if you are having any foot or ankle issues, we want to help you get back to the activities you love!

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