6 Tips for Preventing Running Injuries

Running is an excellent form of exercise and sport for children and adults alike, but as with any form of physical activity, it brings injury risks. Each year more than half of runners will deal with an injury, but many can be prevented. Whether you’re new to the game or a pro at pounding the pavement, you can minimize the chances of getting injured while running. Our expert podiatrists explain how to keep you running.

Tip 1. Slow and steady wins the race

The enthusiasm to increase your mileage and run time can push you to do too much too soon. Running injuries are more likely to occur when you try to increase your capacity too quickly.

If you’re a beginner, your feet, legs, and body need time to adjust to running. Even if you’re a highly trained runner, gradually increasing your mileage will reduce the chances that you’ll get injured.

Tip 2. Take care of your feet

When you run, the force you apply to your feet is much greater than normal, so it’s important that your feet are in tip-top shape if you’re a runner. This is even more pronounced if you’re a high-performance runner. Taking proper care of your feet can reduce the risk of ending up on the couch with an ice pack on your foot. Here are the best ways to care for runner’s feet:

Not just any socks

When you’re on the go, wear comfortable, lightweight, water-resistant socks that fit properly.

Mind your skin

Runners are prone to dried-out skin, cracks and bleeding on their feet. Taking care of blisters and using a foot-specific moisturizer keeps the skin soft and flexible.

Address fungus

Fungus is nothing to feel embarrassed about. Running with clean, dry feet reduces injury risk. If you notice peeling, itching or bleeding, visit the team at Town Center Foot & Ankle for evaluation and treatment.

Tip 3. Avoid ‘toughing’ it out

It may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s an all-too-common scenario for runners to get injured, and instead of pausing to deal with the problem directly, they take an over-the-counter pain medication and continue running. Even if the injury is minor, continuing to train or perform can aggravate it, and before you know it, you have a more serious injury that requires treatment.

If you notice telltale signs that you’ve injured your foot, it’s best to visit your podiatrist for an evaluation. Trying to “tough it out” and train through it can bring on more problems than you bargained for.

Tip 4. Wear the right footwear

Improperly fitting shoes are a common cause of injury for runners. The shoes you choose to run in must fit your feet well. The structure of your foot and natural inward rolling each time your feet strike the ground and push off are factors in choosing the right shoes. It’s wise to do your homework on what to look for in a running shoe and get expert advice from someone who can help you choose the right shoes.

Tip 5. Boost your flexibility

Stiff muscles and joints are prone to injury. Improving your flexibility is an excellent way to reduce the risk of being injured while running. Stretching increases blood flow and helps your joints move through their full range of motion. Keeping your body loose and limber while running is important to staying injury-free. Your Foot & Ankle Town Center podiatrist can provide stretching tips to help you avoid injuring your feet and ankles.

Tip 6. See your podiatrist

Don’t wait until you’re sidelined with an injury to visit your us. Your Foot & Ankle Town Center podiatrist can recommend the right footwear, answer questions about preventing running injuries, and evaluate your feet and ankles for potential problems that you are prone to — or might not even know exist.

If you already have running shoes, take them along to your appointment. Your provider will check the shoes for fit and wear-and-tear patterns. Prepare to discuss any history of foot or ankle problems.

With locations in Kingwood and Atascocita, Texas, Dr. Stephen G. Eichelsdorfer and Dr. Tyreen V. Heybeck dedicate their practice to improving lives one foot and ankle at a time. If you’ve experienced a foot or ankle injury, visit the location nearest you for the latest in therapeutic and physical therapy to get you back on the track or field. Call or book your appointment online.

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