Common foot injuries among runners

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Runners are prone to a variety of foot injuries. Despite the health and fitness benefits of running, the activity can take its toll on the feet. Remember that the foot should endure significant force that is 3-4 times the body weight of the individual.

Proper warm up and stretching, correct footwear and steadily increasing the mileage can lower the risk for foot injuries. If there is pain or other issues, a doctor must be consulted. The earlier these issues are detected, the better the chances for simple measures such as stretching, rest and orthotics can correct them.

Close look on the usual foot injuries in running

Heel pain

Heel pain is usually due to plantar fasciitis that involves inflammation of the fibrous tissue that links the heels and toes. The pain starts in the heel bone and radiates across the arch and usually worse upon waking up in the morning or after sitting.

Foot injuries
Proper warm up and stretching, correct footwear and steadily increasing the mileage can lower the risk for foot injuries.

As one of the common foot injuries, adequate rest and application of ice can provide immediate relief while stretching the Achilles tendon, calves and feet allows better chance of long-term recovery. Once the individual resumes his/her regular routine, supportive shoes must be worn to prevent the condition from recurring.

Achilles tendinitis

The Achilles tendon is the biggest in the body that links the calf and heel to allow walking, running and jumping. Even though it can endure significant strain, an abrupt increase in the mileage or an overly tight calf muscle can strain it too far, resulting to pain, swelling and stiffness that feels worse after activity.


The sesamoids are 2 small, pea-shaped bones in the ball of the foot below the big toe. The increased pressure can lead to the inflammation of the bones and surrounding tendons which causes a dull, lingering pain beneath the joint.

Strapping, padding, taping and utilizing customized orthotics can relieve the pressure on the bones to allow the symptoms to settle. As for severe cases, crutches might be used or a cast that is followed by physical therapy.

Stress fractures

The repeated pounding on the foot can tire out the foot muscles which reduces their capability to absorb shock. As an outcome, small hairline cracks form in some of the foot bones. In most cases, stress fractures develop in the 2nd and 3rd metatarsals. In addition, the breaks can also occur in the heel, bones in top of the foot or lower shinbone.

The pain from these foot injuries often start gradually, intensifies with activity and settles with rest. There is also swelling, bruising or tenderness close to the site of the damage. The treatment includes rest oftentimes along with a cast or protective footwear to stabilize the damage.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on foot injuries is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage foot injuries by taking a standard first aid course with Victoria First Aid.

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