If you’re serious about long-distance running, you should also be serious about orthopedics as a measure of injury prevention. Even with perfect running form and the best running shoes on the market, an intensive training regimen will take a toll on your body and can lead to permanent damage. Here are some of the most common ailments that affect runners, and how orthopedic foot and ankle care can help keep you up and running.
The dreaded ankle sprain is the most common lower-leg orthopedic related injury, and the usual culprit is postural control or the inability to maintain, achieve or restore a state of balance during an activity. In other words; if you sprained your ankle while running, your center of mass was not over the supporting foot correctly. Research has shown that custom foot orthotics can significantly improve the balance of people that use them, especially if they have chronic and functional ankle instability. However, if you have sprained your ankle before (and who hasn’t), building the ankle ligaments strength is the best method of preventing this injury in the future. Please consult with an orthopedic foot doctor in Phoenix to learn the best ways to improve your ankle strength and postural control.
Read More: 2 Common Arizona Foot and Ankle Injuries
Although there is some dissension within the orthopedics community as to whether proper orthotics actually deter serious runners from contracting runner’s knee, most believe that proper biomechanics at the very least provide relief by minimizing lower-leg movement, reducing muscle fatigue, and properly activating muscles for running. This in whole will reduce the stress on your kneecap cartilage, meaning at the very least the cartilage will regenerate faster. By reducing your recovery time and performing proper stretches, the affects of runner’s knee can be managed to not interfere with your training.
This common problem occurs when the band of tissue that connects the heel bone the base of toes becomes inflamed, causing the shooting pain the in the heel or arch of your foot. Many attribute this condition to standing or walking on hard surfaces with poor arch support too frequently, but it can also be triggered by tight calf muscles or strained Achilles tendons caused by routine exercise or overexertion. This can be easily avoided by proper arch support and stretching, but targeting specific muscles with the correct prevention techniques will provide the most effective treatment. Please speak to an orthotic professional for specific recommendations to treat your plantar fasciitis, and prevent it from affecting you again in the future.