Ice baths, massage, compression socks, orthotics, rolling your feet out on tennis balls…
Have you tried one or more of these without much help?
This is Dr. Kelly, and as a passionate runner, sports physical therapist in McLean, and someone who doesn’t want to be interrupted by injury, I’ve learned foot pain is complex- there’s usually not “just one thing” contributing to it.
Here are a few things I’ve found to be most important in physical therapy when diagnosing foot injuries:
- Foot Type, Biomechanics, and Shoe Type: Each runner has a unique foot structure and biomechanics. High arches, flat feet, overpronation, and supination can affect how your foot strikes the ground. It’s crucial to understand your foot type to choose appropriate footwear and support. Here is a link that better explains foot type. Ensure that your shoes provide adequate cushioning, arch support, and fit your foot shape properly. Regularly replacing of worn-out shoes is essential for injury prevention (recommended replacement after 400 miles of running).
- Running Surface: The type of surface you run on can impact foot pain. Hard surfaces like concrete can be harsh on your feet, while softer surfaces like grass or trails offer more cushioning. Varying your running terrain can help reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries.
- Running Form and Mechanics: Variations in running form can strain muscles and joints differently. Understanding your form and what muscles are dominating during your run is important to building strength and endurance as well as overall mechanical balance. A Marching, Skipping, and Single leg hopping are great drills that help enforce foot strike directly under your center of mass and tendon elasticity while running.
- Training Intensity and Volume: Overtraining or increasing your running intensity too quickly can stress your feet. Gradual progression and adequate rest are essential for preventing overuse injuries. In general, the best guideline to follow is to increase your volume by 10% per week.
Remember that everyone’s body is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another.
If you would like to finally solve the lower body injuries that are interrupting your ability to run successfully, don’t miss this FREE workshop..
“CHP’s Running Performance Lab”
Saturday, October 21st at 9am
Cohen Health and Performance
1401 Chain Bridge Rd, Suite 203
McLean, VA 22101
In this workshop, you will discover the root cause of your injuries and learn exercises to solve them.
We only have 5 slots left, so don’t miss your chance to sign up here.