It has been a long winter! The temperatures have finally started warming up and the snow is almost gone. Many runners are anxious to get back outside and take a run, but getting back in the routine of running can be difficult. To help prevent pain and overuse injuries, it is important to slowly increase your distance and your intensity when trying to get back to your running routine. Runners can be susceptible to many different injuries, including heel pain (plantar fasciitis)Achilles tendonitis, stress fractures, and Sever’s Disease in children and adolescents. Whether you run for exercise or competitively, foot and ankle health is essential for optimal performance. 

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. Doing squats, single-leg bridges, clamshells, and banded lateral walks often and just before you go out for a run can help strengthen your muscles and prevent injuries.
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. If you have pain that persists, continuing to run can cause even more problems.

Dr. Kylin Kovac and Dr. Jed Erickson at Idaho Foot and 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. Contact Idaho Foot and Ankle Center for help if you are having any foot or ankle issues. 

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