If you’re a runner, no doubt you’ve become pretty familiar with having regular aches and pains in various parts of your body. Lifting yourself out of a chair after a long run? – Ouch! Climbing the stairs post-race? – Puh-lease!
Muscle soreness is expected. But if pain and soreness linger in your feet or ankles, it’s something you need to stop and deal with. Just hoping it goes away or worse, pushing through an injury is not something that board-certified podiatrist Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm of Clifton Foot & Ankle Center would recommend.
These are the 5 most common running injuries we see at our practice:
- Heel pain – Most often is due to plantar fasciitis – an inflammation of the plantar fascia – the tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot and up into the arch. Running for miles without proper footwear can cause this kind of inflammation, as can overuse in general or carrying too much weight.
- Shin splints – People tend to toss this term around to mean any sort of pain in their lower leg. Pain in your shin area can actually originate in a foot problem such as overpronation (your ankle turns in more than it should) or an inflammation of the posterior tibial tendon, which extends from the inside of your foot up into your lower leg.
- Stress fracture – This is a thin crack in a bone in your foot, usually caused by overtraining or doing too much too soon. Pain, swelling, redness, or tenderness in your foot or ankle may indicate a stress fracture.
- Blisters – These little sacs of fluid form as result of friction between your skin, sock and shoe.
- Achilles tendinitis – The tendon that joins the back of your heel to your calf is called the Achilles tendon. Achilles tendinitis is inflammation of that tendon, most frequently caused by overuse or suddenly increasing the speed or intensity of your runs (as opposed to gradually increasing them).
You can deal with these injuries with rest, icing, elevating your foot, cutting back on the number of miles you’re running, taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, replacing worn-out shoes, and wearing socks that don’t rub.
If you don’t have any luck with these home treatments, or if your pain gets worse or persists for more than a few days, make an appointment with Dr. Wilhelm. We can make a definitive diagnosis and prescribe exercises, custom orthotics, walking boots, and stronger medications to treat your symptoms and get you back to your running regimen as soon as possible. Call us at our office in Centreville, VA at (703) 996-3000.