With spring weather back in full force, Cincinnatians everywhere are dusting off the old running shoes and getting back out on the roads and trails throughout the area. While we encourage you to join the active throngs, a word of advice—if you’ve been sitting for most of the winter, it’s important to get your feet (and gear!) in shape before adding some serious miles. It just might help you prevent a nasty overuse injury.
- Ease back into it. Don’t push yourself to the point of pain or nausea. You may need to pick shorter distances and alternate jogging and walking at first. Doing too much, too soon is a great way to end up with stress fractures, shin splints, or even an Achilles injury. Start slow and increase your intensity about 10% (no more) each week as you are able.
- Do some stretches and exercises to keep feet, ankles, and calves limber and strong. Some great ones to try include negative calf raises (also known as the “step stretch,”) towel stretches (sit with legs outstretched, wrap a towel around the toes, and pull gently), lifting or pulling objects off the floor with your toes, or even rolling a golf ball, tennis ball, can, or frozen water bottle under your feet.
- Make sure your shoes are helping you, not hurting you. For regular runners, a good pair of shoes that fits your unique foot shape and stride are of paramount importance. The staff at a great specialty store, like Bob Roncker’s Running Spot, will help you find a good match. It’s also important to replace your shoes when they wear down, typically somewhere between the 300 and 500 mile mark.
If you’re struggling with foot pain, or have had foot pain issues in the past, we also highly recommend you come down to Family Foot & Ankle Center for an evaluation. Even if you don’t have a diagnosable injury (such as stress fractures), you still may benefit from certain treatment modalities (such as shoe inserts or custom orthotics) if you have an arch type or other foot structure more prone to pain and injury. To schedule an appointment at one of our 6 Greater Cincinnati podiatry offices, please fill out our online request form or give us a call today at 888-689-3317.