Foot pain When Running: It can cost you!
As the weather begins to improve in Chicago, more and more runners are getting out on the lakefront path and through the various neighborhoods that make Chicago a great city to live in. As you run and train for an upcoming race this spring and/or summer, it is quite common to experience foot pain. Foot pain can start as a small ache and progress to sharp, burning, tingling pain quite quickly if the cause is not identified.
Foot pain can present in many forms from plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the bottom of the foot, with pain starting either in the heel or arch of the foot) to a nerve injury called a Morton’s neuroma (pain in the front of the foot causing numbness and tingling toward the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th toes) to finally, a strain of the deeper muscles of the foot (resulting in achiness, soreness, and tightness in the bottom of the foot). Once you begin to experience foot pain, it is important to consult with the right health care provider to alleviate and discuss treatment options to keep you running.
Often, most people may consult with podiatrists to help with their feet and they can provide certain solutions to help with recovery. However, most podiatrists cannot address soft tissue injury when it comes about other than to cast orthotics or provide some type of support. Sports certified chiropractors on the other hand, can assess foot problems and provide treatment through manipulation, soft tissue stretching, and rehabilitative/corrective exercises.
When someone presents with foot pain, it is important to discover if this is a primary issue (coming from the foot), or secondary issue (elsewhere, such as the calf or shin for example). A thorough exam and consultation will identify the cause, and treatment on both the root cause and any compensating areas around the foot, can lead to a quicker recovery. Active Release Techniques (ART) can treat scar tissue/adhesions that are limiting movement, and flexibility in one’s foot and surrounding tissues. Also, corrective exercises to address foot stability, strength, and arch support are critical to protecting the foot and supporting it to avoid injury and/or aggravation of it during training. Lastly, having the right shoes are critical while running. Sports-certified chiropractors who have experience with runners, are typically best at analyzing gait to increase stride length, quicken your pace, and find faults in your running pattern to identify why your foot may be the culprit. Furthermore, they can look at your running shoes to ensure the proper type for your foot and terrain that you primarily run on.
Having these tools to prevent foot pain can ensure a healthier training season with fewer injuries and possible setbacks. Do not let foot pain affect your ability to train and stay active this spring/summer!
Brian Marion, DC, CCSP, ART, CKTP