Thursday, 26 December 2013

Common Jogger’s Foot Problems

Running is amongst the best and most simple forms of exercise. All that is really needed is a good pair of shoes and a place to jog. Running is good for the heart, toughens the entire body and relaxes the mind. But it does place extra stress and burden on your feet. Over time, this can cause damage and affect the utility and functioning of the feet. Joggers are prone to foot problems and injuries. Most of them are minor and can be treated at home. But if they are ignored, or the wrong treatment used, then the condition can become aggravated and serious.

Sprains

Sprained ankles are amongst the most common of jogger’s injuries, especially among those who run on rough ground and cross country trails. What happens is that while jogging on an uneven surface the ankle may be forced to turn in a direction that is opposite to the foot or beyond its normal movement range. When that happens, the ligaments that provide support to the ankle joint can get torn. There are three ligaments involved but in most cases a fractional tearing of only two is involved.  A serious sprain can involve a complete rupture of all three ligaments. For minor sprains wrapping the ankle in bandages and wearing shoes that provide lower leg support is usually all that is required. But if the ligament damage is more serious then specialized treatment and rehabilitation may be required.

Tendonitis

A tendon is a strand of strong tissue that connects muscle to bone so as to allow the skeleton to move freely. When the tendon running down the back of the leg is stressed beyond the normal, a condition called Achilles Tendonitis or painful Achilles Heel results. This causes a sharp pain to be felt somewhere between the heel and the lower calf. The pain will usually increase the more the leg is used and reduce as the leg is rested. Treatment typically consists of a regimen of ice combined with rest and minimal walking on hard surfaces and up hills. Recovery usually takes a few weeks.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is the technical term for a loss of flexibility in the arch of the foot. The common symptoms of this are (a) intense pain on the sole of the foot when standing up after an extended period of sitting or lying down and (b) a strong painful sensation of something pulling or tearing in the sole of the foot while walking. While there are many causes for this condition, regular running on stony surfaces and uneven ground is a common one. Application of ice and rest will help to cure a minor case but if the pain persists, a podiatrist should be consulted.

Flat Feet

Flat feet, or fallen arches as the condition is also called, occurs when the tissue supporting the curve of the arch of the foot becomes elongated because of improper distribution of body weight. This can be caused by genetics or a style of jogging that places excess stress on the feet.  The condition results in soreness of the lower foot and lower back pain. While arch supports may provide immediate relief, a podiatrist should be consulted for proper long term relief and treatment.

Apophycitis of the Heel

Before adulthood the human heel has two bones that fuse into one at puberty. Excessive running by adolescent runners can result in the bones becoming or remaining disjointed. The result is usually pain and soreness of the foot, particularly in the heel area. Immediate relief may be possible by using heel pads, but only specialized treatment by a podiatrist can offer a long term cure.

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