Posts for: March, 2010
David Quick from the Post and Courier created a video blog about common running injuries in the foot. Please go to the above web address and look for the video on "Common Foot Injuries" from March 16th.
Good information on three of the most common foot injuries we see in runners. If you are preparing for the bridge run there is good information on some preventative treatment you can do at home.
The video also includes an interview of a former patient that experienced plantar fasciitis and is now back to running.
Spring is in the air and the Cooper River Bridge run is three weeks away. If you are training for the bridge run and are experiencing discomfort on the ball of your feet you may have a Neuroma. The combination of wearing narrow, pointed-toed shoes at work and the pounding of that your feet endure from running on hard surfaces can cause a neuroma, a painful nerve disorder of the feet. It can be a stressful combination for your feet.
Active women who enjoy running, especially those with flat feet, are prone to develop neuromas. A nerve located between the toes becomes enlarged and inflamed and produces tingling, burning pain.
Neuromas enlarge as the condition progresses, causing pain and numbness to a consistent area at the base of the toes. Patients often complain it feels as if something is stuck inside the ball of the foot. The symptoms may go away temporarily by massaging the foot, wearing wider shoes with low heels, and tapering your running and other activities that aggravate the condition.
Symptoms become more intense as the nerve enlarges and the temporary damage becomes permanent, so it's best to seek treatment if discomfort persists for more than a few days.
Neuromas can develop in different areas of the foot. The most common occurrence is called Morton's neuroma, which develops at the base of the third and fourth toes. Thickening and swelling of the nerve usually is caused by compression and irritation from wearing very narrow shoes or high heels that crunch the toes in the front of the shoe. A neuroma can be detectable with an ultrasound examination , but the diagnosis is typically based on symptoms and a physical examination to palpate the nerve or a maneuver that elicits an audible click.
Treatment options for Morton's neuroma depend on how far the condition has progressed. At early stages, padding (Metatatarsal pad) lessens pressure on the nerve, icing reduces swelling, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications and cortisone injections decrease pain and inflammation, and over the counter or custom orthotic devices provide support to reduce compression. If you are training for the bridge run it may help to run on softer surfaces such as grass or dirt trails until the condition improves.
In severe cases, surgery might be the best option to provide relief.
One month until the Cooper River Bridge Run. Have you been gradually increasing your mileage? Are overuse aches and pains settling into your feet, knees or hips? If so it is possible that your running posture and biomechanics are setting you up for failure and breakdown. Focusing on form and technique can help you stay injury free.
In 2004, Danny Dreyer wrote Chi Running: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-Free Running. He outlines a running form and posture to prevent injury and provide energy efficiency. Based on the physics of body mechanics and some of the teachings of Tai Chi he recommends the following:
1) Run Tall- Stand straight without slumping your shoulders or bending at the waist.
2) Lean Forward- A slight forward lean from the ankles while keeping your spine straight.
3) Land on the Mid-Foot- Land with a mid-foot strike when you run while allowing your feet to land underneath or slightly behind you.
4) Run from Your Core- Keep your pelvis level by engaging your lower abdominal muscles throughout the run.
5) RELAX- Keep all your muscles as relaxed as possible and let your forward lean propel you.
It is possible to change your running technique, but it takes time to break inefficient habits. I have personally switched to the Chi Running techniques for the past 6 months and I have eliminated many of the nagging injuries I have been dealing with for years. Give it a try. Who knows you may find yourself running farther, faster and with less injuries than ever before. See you on the Bridge!