Tips for Runners to Prevent Foot and Ankle Injuries

When someone is sidelined with an illness or injury or they are recovering from one, you can tell what kind of person they are by the questions they ask. If the first question is “When can I start running again?” that person sees running and jogging as essential as to their happiness and well-being as being able to walk.

No one wants to get a foot or ankle injury. But for avid runners, such injuries are not only painful; they can be incredibly disruptive and depressing. Runners can also be more prone to foot and ankle problems than other folks, especially conditions like ankle sprains, Achilles tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis. Such risks combined with the importance of running in their lives make it imperative that runners take whatever steps they can to prevent such issues in the first place.

Here are some simple tips for runners that can help minimize the chances of a foot or ankle injury and keep them moving along:

  • Warm Up and Stretch. If you’re a runner, we don’t have to tell you about the importance of stretching and warming up to get the body ready for a run – but we will. Lightly stretch or jog slowly for a few minutes before hitting your full stride.

  • Build Strength. If you dive right into a strenuous running routine – long distances, quick pace, challenging surfaces – without first building up the strength and mobility of your muscles, you are asking for trouble. Instead of going from zero to 10 miles all at once, increase your distance and pace gradually over the course of several weeks.
  • Choose The Right Shoes. The right shoes can help reduce injury risk because they can adapt to your form and how the repetitive forces of running apply to your body. People with low arches should pick shoes that provide support in the front of the shoe as well as under the arch. Runners who have a stiffer foot or higher arches should choose shoes with more cushioning and a softer platform. Also, choose shoes specifically designed for running and jogging.
  • Don’t Run Your Shoes Into The Ground. If you don’t want your feet and ankles to break down, make sure that you replace your shoes before they break down. Regular runners should get new shoes every six months or so.
  • Try to Run on Soft and Even Surfaces. Unforgiving or uneven surfaces can increase the impact on your feet and increase the risk of injuries, especially ankle sprains.
  • Listen to Your Body. If you feel foot or heel pain, do something about it ASAP. Most problems which start with discomfort – such as plantar fasciitis/runner’s heel – will devolve into ever-increasing pain and more severe complications if you don’t address the problem early on.
  • Take some time off. Your muscles need to recoup and regroup after a strenuous workout, whether those muscles are in your arms, legs, or feet. Take some time between runs to allow your feet to heal.

Call the Hollywood Feet and Ankle Specialists at JAWSpodiatry Today to Schedule an Appointment

Whether you are an avid runner and jogger or just someone who spends a lot of time on your feet (meaning most of us), please call us if you are experiencing pain, swelling, or other problems with your feet or ankles. At JAWSpodiatry in Hollywood, Florida, we know how painful and frustrating such issues can be, especially for active folks, and we know how to fix them. Please call us today at (954) 922-7333 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.