By Jack Eastwood
This month we are going to focus on a few common injuries that happen during or after running as well as also what makes a good running shoe. Running can be a great way to stay fit and healthy and can be tailored to any experience level.
Blisters develop to protect damage skin and allow it to heal. When running there is a lot of friction between the foot and the shoe. The most often cause for blisters when running is due to the shoe either being too big or too small as this can cause increased rubbing and pressure on the skin.
Blisters are normally filled with a clear liquid which helps to cushion the damaged tissue and prevent any further damage. Some blisters are filled with blood which are often more uncomfortable, and this occurs due to damage to the blood vessels under the skin.
If a blister is uncomfortable the best way to help is to rest the area or alternatively, we can get rid of the blister in a sterile environment to prevent any infection.
Muscle injuries from overuse:
Common muscle injuries from running include Achilles tendinitis, shin splints and plantar fasciitis. These are normally due to a poor warm up, poor footwear or overexerting yourself to what you are normally comfortable with.
These injuries are normally settled down by RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and can range from three weeks to a couple of months dependant of the severity.
Shockwave therapy, orthoses and strapping are all tools we can use to help aid recovery and get you back on your run.
Callus and Corns:
Callus and corns can occur due to repeated friction and pressure. Running is a high impact (pressure) activity which causes the body to try and protect itself by laying down a layer of hard skin (callus).
Prolonged areas of hard skin can cause a corn to form which can be very uncomfortable. A corn forms due to callus being rolled around into a small ball and it gets pushed against the skin and creates a little indent. This normally feels like you are always standing on a small stone.
The best way to reduce callus is to use a urea-based foot cream as opposed to an alternative eg a lanolin-based cream. This is due to urea being an active ingredient which breaks down callus. If there is still discomfort after prolonged use of a urea-based foot cream, it is best to come see us where we can remove the corn and therefore remove the discomfort.
What makes a good running shoe?
There are a lot of features to a running shoe however some are more important than others; looks may not always be the most important thing.
Cushioning: this is important to reduce the impact your terrain will have on your feet which can reduce the chance of getting corns, callus, or blisters.
Structure: this is important as when running on an uneven surface there needs to be enough support to reduce the chance of any muscle strains around the ankle.
Breathability: this is important as if the feet get overly sweaty this greatly increases the chance of blisters.