7 Common Foot Injuries for Runners (And What To Do About Them)

Most runners will suffer foot injuries at some point; they are so common. A simple blister or runner’s knee can HALT training plans.

Running is a great way to stay in shape, but it comes with the risk of injury. Beginner runners often suffer from minor or potentially annoying foot injuries.

If you’re new to running, pay special attention to how your feet and toes feel during and after a run. It may be possible to avoid any problems by being careful and planning ahead.

This article will cover the top 7 common foot injuries for runners and what to do about them.

The Most Common Foot Injuries And Problems for Runners

1. Black Toenails

Black toenails happen when your toes get jammed into the front of your running shoe. You may notice that you get this when you start running a lot. 

If your shoes don’t fit perfectly, it will cause toe trauma, which will wind up causing black toenails. It is a collection of blood underneath your toenail and is nothing to get really worried about.

2. Blisters

You eventually wind up dealing with blisters when you start running for exercise. Blisters can be very painful, making keeping up with your running routine more challenging.  

You are getting blisters, likely due to wearing shoes too tight. This sometimes happens too when socks do not fit smoothly, so you must wear the right stuff to protect your feet. 

All in all, blisters are a minor problem. Rest and footwear change may be required.

High-quality shoe inserts can protect runners from blistering as well.

3. Burning Feet

If you are experiencing burning feet while you are out running, try not to worry too much. This is a very typical injury or problem that you can usually fix by making a few changes. 

This hot or burning sensation in your feet is likely caused by your footwear. Changing to mesh running shoes may help quite a bit. 

Wearing the right insoles will also alleviate the burning sensation for many people.

4. Numbness

Some beginner runners may experience numbness in their feet. This is often due to wearing shoes that fit just a bit too tightly. 

There are several other potential causes of foot numbness during running as well. It could be happening due to running form mistakes, flat feet, or overworking yourself when your body is not used to running that much.

5. Runner’s Knee

Runner’s knee is another injury that beginner runners wind up suffering from all the time. It is a common term that refers to various types of damage centered around the knee. Runner’s knee is the most common knee injury among runners.

Sometimes when your knee is overused, you may wind up suffering from pain due to irritated tissues around your kneecap. 

Luckily, this injury can be treated with rest and icing the knee. Wearing knee support while running may also help keep this from happening.

6. Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a widespread cause of heel pain. This injury is going to involve inflammation on the bottom of your foot. 

Those who suffer from plantar fasciitis may have inflamed tissue on the bottom of their feet that runs from their heels all the way toward the toes. 

Whether running with plantar fasciitis is possible depends on how severe the symptoms are.

Shoe inserts can help keep runners safe and will be able to do an excellent job of keeping you from being injured again. Physical therapy may also be required, depending on the extent of the problem.

What does plantar fasciitis feel like? My own experiences

In spring 2021, I started running more. The soles and heels of my feet became tender. I didn’t panic about the pain. I thought it would pass.

One morning, however, I awoke with terrible pain in my heel. Walking barefoot on the hard floor hurt my heel and sole especially.

No treatment worked for me. Little by little, the pain subsided, lasting about six months.

After a year, it recurred. I hope this won’t be a lifelong problem.

7. Temperature-Related Injuries

Runners also commonly suffer from temperature-related injuries. Two examples of these types of injuries are hypothermia and heat exhaustion. When you try to push your body too far, you may wind up succumbing to the heat or the cold. 

You need to be mindful of the temperature, your limits, and what you should be wearing to keep things as safe as possible for yourself.

What To Do To Prevent Foot Problems?

Please do not be alarmed if you recognize any of the above-mentioned conditions or symptoms. Most of these conditions can be treated without surgery. 

If you suspect that you have a foot problem due to running, follow these tips.

1. Replace Your Running Shoes

Poorly fitting shoes can cause you to sprain your ankles and feet when you run. Finding a pair of shoes that provide adequate support and stability is essential.

The heel should be snug, while the toes should have ample room to wiggle. 

Flat-footed runners need shoes with a more rigid sole, while those with high arches will need bend and cushioning. It is sometimes helpful to use special shoe inserts to support and help your feet.

Most runners do not replace their shoes often enough, so they use the old ones even if the shock absorption and support have decreased.

How long do sneakers last, then? You should change your running shoes every 300 to 500 miles on average. 

2. Exercises Can Help You Manage Foot Pain

To relieve foot pain, it’s essential to learn some techniques that can help you ease overexertion. 

Regular, gentle exercises can help loosen up muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues, allowing feet to move normally again. MedicalNewsToday gives us great examples of these gentle foot exercises!

By relaxing the arch of the foot, toe extensions effectively reduce the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. It may be helpful to receive medical advice from an expert in physical therapy for the best outcomes.

3. Consult a Healthcare Professional When Necessary

Runners often believe that their foot injuries will heal themselves over time, but this is not always the case. Ankle sprains can lead to ankle instability, which podiatric care could have prevented.

The rise of remote arrangements allows you to consult with a healthcare provider from the comfort of your own home.

The Bottom Line

Running and walking can be very painful when you have foot pain. And foot pain can get transferred up to the lower back, which may result in back pain.

Many runners experience foot problems at some point. Knees, legs, and feet are the most common areas for injuries.

A variety of treatment and management options are available if you experience pain or discomfort while running.

You should not try to self-diagnose persistent foot pain. Rather, see a professional for an accurate diagnosis and, if necessary, treatment.

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