We push our bodies to the limit when we take up running. The forces which get channelled through our legs and feet are three times our body weight – so we shouldn’t be surprised when many podiatry patients who are runners develop issues in their lower limb and feet whilst training or starting their running journey.
Here are the top THREE injuries and pains we see and treat with runners in our North Shore podiatry clinics:
1. Heel Pain
Heel pain is a common trend amongst the running community, and most runners maybe familiar with plantar fasciitis. People can refer to this as ‘heel spurs.’ Plantar fasciitis heel pain, presents symptoms of sharp, shooting and stabbing pain at the bottom and inside of the heel. Generally it is most painful in the morning on first standing, or standing after rest/ sitting.
The correct treatment provided is important to prevent further tissue damage which can lead to a more severe, long standing issue such as a tear or rupture in the plantar fascia. Our treatment for plantar fasciitis has proven very successful and will generally include temporary strapping of the foot, footwear advice, orthotics to control motion of the foot and exercises for stretching and strengthening.
2. Shin Splints
Also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, shin splints is pain to the front and inside of the shins that often comes on during running and activity. With shin splints in runners there are two other conditions that closely mirror the symptoms: a stress fracture to the shin bone (tibia), and compartment syndrome.
To treat shin splints we need to look at how the muscles in the lower limb are acting during the running motion. Often a biomechanical assessment will be done to determine biomechanical factors such as foot posture, and the various forces going through the lower limb. Footwear is also assessed to see how they are contributing to the overall performance and the way the muscles are being used whilst wearing these.
3. Calf Pain
Calves are very important when you run – they work up to 25% harder than your quadriceps (thigh muscles) when running. When you need to stop or quickly change direction, your calves help you do so safely without injury. Stabilising the knee and absorbing large amounts of forces is also their job. This is why calf pain is a common occurrence in runners.
Patients who experience calf pain is often due to overuse without the correct preparation and conditioning. Yes that’s correct! Those typical calf stretches we all know, can help prevent injury. Treatment of calf pain includes addressing all the factors which contribute to the overloading of them, in which we will perform a biomechanical assessment. Stretching and strengthening programme, correcting abnormal biomechanics with footwear and orthotics as well as correcting some specific gait issues which may be contributing will offload the calves and allow you to continue running.
So, what’s stopping you from running?
If you’ve got a pain or an injury during or after running, whether we’ve mentioned it above or it’s something completely different, we’d love to help. Treating feet and the lower limb is what we are best at! We have the best skills and experience to allow us to help you!
Three locations on the North Shore:
17 Antares Place
2 Fred Thomas Drive
124A Birkenhead Avenue