Running is an excellent exercise for your cardiovascular health and for keeping your metabolism working at peak levels. However, any sports medicine specialist will tell you that running can take a toll on your feet if you don’t take care of them properly – and this care includes wearing well-cushioned shoes, stretching before you run, and giving your feet a break if they start to hurt. Do not push through the pain.
If you are a runner but you’ve been developing foot pain, it could indicate a musculoskeletal issue that requires intervention from a skilled orthopedist. Let’s talk about how to know when your foot pain indeed warrants medical attention, and where you can go in West Jersey for world-class orthopedic care to stay in tip-top shape.
Foot Pain Is Ongoing and Not Improving
If you have taken the requisite break and have stopped running for several days in order to give your feet some time to heal, but the pain is not subsiding, then it is time to see an orthopedist. It could be a sign that you have a stress fracture, which is an injury that can happen when you repeatedly put stress on a bone.
Stress fractures tend to happen most often in the back, the hips, and the lower extremities. This injury doesn’t usually cause pain at first, but the pain will arise over time. The pain may get particularly worse when you’re in motion.
Pain Is in or Around Your Heel
The plantar fascia is the thick band of connective tissue that extends from your heel to your toes, along the bottom of your foot. The repeated pounding of running can cause this area to develop tiny tears, and these tears can cause the plantar fascia to develop inflammation – which is plantar fasciitis.
The inflammation may cause a stabbing pain that can be felt in the heel. It tends to be worse when you wake up in the morning, and it usually subsides as the day goes on. However, the pain can intensify if you remain standing for a prolonged period of time.
Foot Pain Doesn’t Respond to Conservative Treatments
The RICE method is the standard initial treatment for a foot injury, and this acronym stands for:
These steps should help to reduce the swelling and ease your foot pain. Unless you’ve been told by your doctor to avoid taking pain medication, such as due to liver issues, then it is also a good idea to try over-the-counter pain-relief medication to alleviate your foot pain.
Pain Is Accompanied by Numbness or Tingling
If you have chronic pain in your foot along with numbness or tingling, then these are likely signs of a pinched nerve. Specifically, you could have tarsal tunnel syndrome, which occurs when you repeatedly stress and compress your posterior tibial nerve. This nerve runs through the ankle and into the foot, so it follows a similar pattern to carpal tunnel syndrome, in which the median nerve runs through the wrist.
Experienced Orthopedic Doctor in Dover, NJ for Foot Pain
If you need an evaluation and possible medical treatment for foot pain, contact our caring team at the Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, call us today at (973) 989-0888 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you get back to being pain-free!