• Total Physical Therapy

3 Common Runner's Foot Problems and How to Improve Them Fast


Foot problems for runners are nearly inevitable. The problems hopefully will be minor with the early detection and corrective action. Three common foot afflictions for runner's feet are achilles tendinitis or bursitis, plantar fasciitis, and posterior tibialis tendinitis. These are far from the myriad of potential foot problems, but they are assuredly the most frequent we see in the clinic. Pay particular attention to the -itis ending of all these conditions. The suffix -itis translates to INFLAMMATION or rather an inflamed and overworked tissue. What does it mean to be in a period/state of inflammation? It means your body is in acute trauma! These conditions may be microtrauma but the conditions are inevitably an acute problem that needs to first and foremost be addressed with REST!! Don't forget that rest is your friend and an absolute necessity in times of inflammation. Curbing your running for a few days could save you weeks of torment. A simple concept is "If you have to limp then take a back seat as a wimp." We assure you this will speed your recovery.

If facing an overuse foot injury, Curbing your running for a few days could save you weeks of torment.

Ice and compression can help curb pain and encourage the inflammation process to maintain is speedy corrective action. Icing for 20 minute intervals a few times a day in addition to an ACE figure 8 wrap to the foot during the day should aid your recovery.

Let's talk about each condition mentioned above with a more concise picture of what to expect.

ACHILLES TENDINITIS/BURSITIS

This pain is generally going to be on the back of your heel but may be felt anywhere along your achilles tendon/heel cord (the firm tissue directly above your heel bone) or possibly all the way into your calf muscles. This type of pain is generally sharp/piercing close to the heel bone but can be initially felt as a strong "tightness" of the heel cord. If you recognize tightness in your heel but have yet to feel pain you are at a higher risk of developing tendinitis/bursitis of the achilles tendon. Once there is noticeable pain, then the icing and compression principle sets in for a few days. You can also complement the ice/compression with stretching of the calf muscles 5 times a day for 60 second holds (1-2 repetitions each interval). By day 4 you can try implementing eccentric calf raises 2 sets of 15 repetitions (see video demonstration). The exercise should not create additional pain and if it does then you should discontinue the exercise for a few more days.

Eccentric Calf Raises

Plantar Fasciitis

This pain is generally going to be on the bottom of your heel but may be felt anywhere along bottom aspect of your foot. This type of pain is generally sharp/piercing close to the heel bone but can be initially felt as a strong "tightness" of the bottom of the foot. If you recognize tightness or soreness in your heel but have yet to feel pain you are at a higher risk of developing tendinitis of the plantar fascia. Once there is noticeable pain, then the icing and compression principle sets in for a few days. Icing can be done with a frozen water bottle. Take a frozen water bottle and place it on the floor. Place your bare foot onto the bottle, apply firm pressure, and roll the bottle from your heel to your toes. Repeat for 8-10 minutes. You can also complement the ice/compression with stretching of the calf muscles 5 times a day for 60 second holds (1-2 repetitions each interval) as well as stretches for the plantar fascia. By day 4 you can try implementing toe dancing exercises 2 sets of 15 repetitions (see video demonstration). The exercise should not create additional pain and if it does then you should discontinue the exercise for a few more days.

Toe Dancing

Posterior Tibialis Tendinitis

This pain is generally going to be on the inside of your ankle but may be felt anywhere along the inner aspect of your foot. This type of pain is generally dull and aching to the inner foot but can be sharp/piercing. If you recognize tightness or soreness to your inner ankle or foot but have yet to feel pain you are at a higher risk of developing tendinitis of the tibialis posterior. Once there is noticeable pain, then the icing and compression principle sets in for a few days. Before attempting stretching this muscle you should seek the advice of a professional as this tissue is often over stretched leading to tendinitis. By day 4 you can try implementing plantar ankle diagonals 2 sets of 15 repetitions(see video demonstration). The exercise should not create additional pain and if it does then you should discontinue the exercise for a few more days.

Ankle Plantar Diagonals

If you have experienced any of these symptoms, have applied our recommendations for at least one week and do not notice improvement do not put off expert advice. As mentioned earlier if you have a limp then take a back seat as a wimp (for a few days).

Any of the above mentioned conditions can become a long nagging condition. We can often curb these symptoms within a few sessions with appropriate activity modification and interventions. The longer the condition continues the longer a recovery session will last. If you have any questions feel free to email us at info@tpttx.com and we'll be happy to lead you toward a quick recovery.

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Total Physical Therapy
3701 A1 Olsen Blvd 
Amarillo, TX
806 467-8181
806 467-8282 fax
Official Physical Therapy Center for the Amarillo Venom, Amarillo Bulls, and FC Amarillo Bombers

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