Running can be very good for you, but it can also be bad news for your feet. In fact, there are several foot problems that plague runners of every age. The underlying source is the key to determining how to ease the pain – it could be as simple as irritated tendons, or it could be as serious as a stress fracture.
Serious foot problems, such as stress fractures or other injuries should always be brought to the attention of a physician before home treatments are attempted.
Remedies for Foot Pain after Running
If you are having foot pain from running, these home remedies can make a big difference in how you feel. But remember, if they don’t work, it’s time to visit a doctor and find the source of the problem.
Running foot pain relief:
- Rest. Sometimes all it takes to relieve the foot pain is a day or two of rest. Take some time off your feet, then start back to running slowly, to help ensure you don’t wind up with an injury.
- Cold therapy. Apply ice packs to the affected area for 15 minutes at a time. This can help with inflammation and as a result, can reduce the pain you feel.
- Elevation. Keep the painful foot elevated above the level of your heart whenever you can. This can help reduce swelling.
- Stretch. When you are recovering from an injury or soreness, take the time to stretch and massage the area to help work out the tired muscles. It also helps to stretch before you run, too.
- Pain relievers. Many over-the-counter pain relievers can help with the inflammation and of course, lessen the pain.
- Proper footwear. Before you hit the road, choose proper shoes. Look for shoes that fit but aren’t too tight, so they can expand when you experience swelling on longer runs.
- Interval running. Interval running is exactly what it sounds like – running in intervals. For instance, run for three minutes, then walk for two, then run for three more. This helps vary the pressure on your feet.
- A proper mileage plan. Don’t let your feet get fatigued! Run only as much as you can handle on most days, then push yourself on other days. When you know what you can run, create a plan of how many miles you will run each day.
- Exfoliation. If the skin on your feet is dry or thick, running can lead to cracking, also known as heel fissures. The stress of running can make those cracks deeper, leading to pain and potential infection. Exfoliating your skin thoroughly between runs can help avoid this, and so can a good moisturizer.
- Compression Socks. These socks help stabilize your feet, keep the blood flowing properly and help decrease soreness and injury. You can wear them after a run, or you can wear them during it.
Causes of Foot Pain after Running
Did you know that when you run, your foot touches the ground at least 800 times per mile? That’s a lot of pressure! It’s also a lot of room for foot problems to develop. Here are several reasons that your feet might hurt after running.
1. Lack of exercises
If you are very new to running or haven’t done much physical exercise until now, the pain the first few times you run can be intense. Over time, however, that pain from lack of exercise should go away.
2. Improper shoes
Wearing the right shoes is absolutely essential to prevent corns, blisters, calluses and other foot problems. Proper shoes can also help relieve fatigue and make your whole body feel better after a good run.
Problems such as a twisted ankle or torn ligaments can lead to pain in the foot, and that can lead to serious foot pain from running. If you think you might have an injury, lay off the running until you know for sure.
These tough spots can develop wherever your foot experiences pressure and friction. Taking care to clean the feet after running and wear proper socks and shoes can help.
5. Poor circulation
Blood clots or other problems, such as diabetes complications, can lead to foot pain when running. Poor circulation can be a serious problem that needs to be checked out by a doctor.
Any sort of infection in the foot could be a culprit. Fungal infections or athlete’s foot infections can contribute to the aches and pains after a run.
7. Plantar fasciitis
If you have severe heel pain after running, you might have a problem with the plantar fascia, or the part of your body that helps your foot bones bear the weight when you run.
These little shock absorbers between the bones and muscles, known as bursa, can sometimes become inflamed. This can cause pain when walking, running or otherwise moving the foot.
A very common foot problem, tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons in the foot. This might feel like piercing, burning or shooting pains in the rear of the foot, near the Achilles tendon.
Problems such as diabetes, peripheral nerve disorders, gout, arthritis and more can lead to serious foot pain. Foot pain from running can sometimes be eased with medications for your disease.
This is when the bursa in the big toe becomes swollen and inflamed. There are many medications and treatments for this painful condition.