WFAI Blog

Posts for tag: running

By Wasatch Foot & Ankle Institute
January 03, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: running  

Foot Care for RunnersIf you're a runner, it goes without saying that your feet take the brunt of the punishment. In fact, for runners the feet are more vulnerable to injury than any other part of the body. Luckily, both long-distance runners and casual joggers can improve their performance by paying extra attention to their feet and taking steps to prevent common foot problems. Poor fitting footwear is often the source of many foot problems caused by running. A visit to our practice can help you determine the best shoes for your foot structure.

A Runner's Roadblock

While many running-related foot injuries can result from a fall or twisted ankle, most running injuries are caused by overuse, meaning the majority of runners experience foot and ankle pain because they do too much for too long. Runners should be aware of the signs of foot problems that can slow them down if not treated promptly. Common foot and ankle injuries experienced by runners include:

Achilles Tendonitis: Achilles tendonitis and other calf-related injuries are prevalent in runners. Poor training, overuse and improper footwear are the three most common reasons for this condition. A sudden increase in distance or pace can strain the muscles and tendons in the foot and ankle, causing small tears within these structures that result in pain and inflammation. Appropriate shoes and training are the most important steps to preventing Achilles tendonitis. Conservative treatment includes rest, ice, stretching and sometimes orthotics or physical therapy.

Heel Pain: Runners develop heel pain more than any other foot-related injury. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, the result of placing excessive stress on the ligament in the bottom of the foot. Rest, stretching and support are the best ways to ease the pain and inflammation. Reduce your mileage and avoid hill and speed workouts. Stretch before and after you run, and ice your heel after each workout. Special splints and shoe inserts from our practice may also provide support and relief for your heel pain.

Stress Fractures: Stress fractures are small cracks in the surface of a bone. Runners generally notice gradual muscle soreness, stiffness and pain on the affected bone, most often in the lower leg or the foot. Early diagnosis is critical, as a small fracture can spread and eventually become a complete fracture of the bone. Stress fractures are typically caused by increasing training more quickly than the body's ability to build up and strengthen the bone.

If you have symptoms of a stress fracture, you should stop running immediately and see a podiatrist. This injury can keep a runner off the track for several weeks, and is not an injury that you can run through. Depending on the severity of the stress fracture, a cast may be necessary.

If you experience chronic foot pain from running, make an appointment with a podiatrist. Leaving foot injuries untreated could result in more serious conditions, ultimately keeping you from your best performance. Keep in mind that these are not the only foot ailments caused by running, and when at-home foot care isn't effective, you'll need to be evaluated by a podiatrist. As in most cases, prevention is the best medicine. Good footwear, proper training and recognizing a problem before it becomes serious are your keys to staying on the road and avoiding foot injuries.

By Drs. Frost & Campbell
May 06, 2013
Category: Ankle pain
Tags: running   Achilles tendon   Ragnar  

   

Event: Ragnar Trail Snowbasin

Where: Snowbasin, Utah

When: August 16-17, 2013

High in the Wasatch Mountains, just 35 miles north of Salt Lake City, in the shadows of Mount Ogden, you will find Snowbasin Resort. This world class ski resort has a secret that only the locals know about; it has miles and miles of some of the most incredibly beautiful single track trails.

Many runners suffer from various forms of tendonitis due to overuse during training.  Below, you can find information specific to Achilles tendon pain and how to avoid missing out on that race that you've trained so hard for.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

A tendon is a band of tissue that connects a muscle to a bone. The Achilles tendon runs down the back of the lower leg and connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. Also called the “heel cord,” the Achilles tendon facilitates walking by helping to raise the heel off the ground.

Achilles Tendonitis and Achilles Tendonosis

Two common disorders that occur in the heel cord are Achilles tendonitis and Achilles tendonosis.

Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon. This inflammation is typically short-lived. Over time, if not resolved, the condition may progress to a degeneration of the tendon (Achilles tendonosis), in which the tendon loses its organized structure and is likely to develop microscopic tears. Sometimes the degeneration involves the site where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel bone. In rare cases, chronic degeneration with or without pain may result in rupture of the tendon.

Causes

As “overuse” disorders, Achilles tendonitis and tendonosis are usually caused by a sudden increase of a repetitive activity involving the Achilles tendon. Such activity puts too much stress on the tendon too quickly, leading to micro-injury of the tendon fibers. Due to this ongoing stress on the tendon, the body is unable to repair the injured tissue. The structure of the tendon is then altered, resulting in continued pain.

Athletes are at high risk for developing disorders of the Achilles tendon. Achilles tendonitis and tendonosis are also common in individuals whose work puts stress on their ankles and feet, such as laborers, as well as in “weekend warriors”—those who are less conditioned and participate in athletics only on weekends or infrequently.

Symptoms

The symptoms associated with Achilles tendonitis and tendonosis include:

Pain—aching, stiffness, soreness, or tenderness—within the tendon. This may occur anywhere along the tendon’s path, beginning with the tendon’s attachment directly above the heel upward to the region just below the calf muscle. Often pain appears upon arising in the morning or after periods of rest, then improves somewhat with motion but later worsens with increased activity.  Tenderness, or sometimes intense pain, when the sides of the tendon are squeezed. There is less tenderness, however, when pressing directly on the back of the tendon.  When the disorder progresses to degeneration, the tendon may become enlarged and may develop nodules in the area where the tissue is damaged.

Diagnosis

In diagnosing Achilles tendonitis or tendonosis, the surgeon will examine the patient’s foot and ankle and evaluate the range of motion and condition of the tendon. The extent of the condition can be further assessed with x-rays or other imaging modalities.

Treatment

Treatment approaches for Achilles tendonitis or tendonosis are selected on the basis of how long the injury has been present and the degree of damage to the tendon. In the early stage, when there is sudden (acute) inflammation, one or more of the following options may be recommended:

1. Immobilization: May involve the use of a cast or removable walking boot to reduce forces through the Achilles tendon and promote healing.

2. Ice: To reduce swelling due to inflammation, apply a bag of ice over a thin towel to the affected area for 20 minutes of each waking hour. Do not put ice directly against the skin.

3. Oral medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be helpful in reducing the pain and inflammation in the early stage of the condition.

4. Orthotics: For those with over-pronation or gait abnormalities, custom orthotic devices may be prescribed.

5. Night splints: Help to maintain a stretch in the Achilles tendon during sleep.

6. Physical therapy: May include strengthening exercises, soft-tissue massage/mobilization, gait and running re-education, stretching, and ultrasound therapy.

When is Surgery Needed?

If non-surgical approaches fail to restore the tendon to its normal condition, surgery may be necessary. The foot and ankle surgeon will select the best procedure to repair the tendon, based upon the extent of the injury, the patient’s age and activity level, and other factors.

 

References:

-http://www.ragnartrail.com/ 

-http://www.foothealthfacts.org/footankleinfo/achilles-tendon.htm

-http://www.aafp.org/afp/2002/0501/p1805.html

-http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/achilles-tendinitis/DS00737 

 

The Ogden Marathon, often referred to as “Utah's Spring Run-Off” will take place on May 18, 2013 @ 7:15 AM.  This beautiful course starts at an elevation of 5,400 feet above sea level .  The course is characterized by open roads, green fields, pine covered slopes, and a beautiful gushing river.

Shin splints can be a pesky problem for any runner (one of the most common running injuries).  “Shin splints” is a general term for the pain that occurs in the front of the lower leg. The pain you'll feel with shin splints is usually on the outer front portion of the lower leg (anterior shin splints).  Here's how you can try to prevent shin splints: 

  1. Don't increase your mileage too quickly.

    Shin splints are considered an overuse injury because they usually occur when a runner (especially for those who are new to running) increases their mileage or intensity too quickly and does not allow for recovery time. Stick to the 10% rule when training – don't increase your mileage or intensity by more than 10% each week.

  2.  Run on softer surfaces, when possible.

    Running on hard surfaces, such as concrete, increases the stress and impact on your muscles, joints and bones. It's important to vary your running surfaces. Try to find grass or dirt trails to run on, especially for your higher mileage runs. 

  3. Give yourself enough rest and recovery time.

    When you first get started with running, try to avoid running two days in a row, to limit the pounding on your muscles, joints, and bones, and give your body a chance to recover. Even if you're an experienced runner, taking at least one or two days off from running each week reduces your risk of shin splints and other overuse injuries. A rest day can be a complete day off or low-impact cross-training activity, such as swimming or biking. 

  4. Get the right running shoes/ replace your running shoes

    Wearing the wrong shoes may also lead to shin splints, so check your shoes to see if you might need more stability or cushioning. Get advice from a foot & ankle specialist or expert at a running specialty store to make sure you're wearing the right running shoes for your foot and gait.  Running in shoes that have lost their cushioning can lead to shin splints. You should replace your running shoes every 300-400 miles. 

  5. Do heel raises and toe raises.

    Doing simple exercises such as heel raises and toe raises can help strengthen your calf and shin muscles, to help prevent shin pain.

**A foot and ankle surgeon can treat the condition, recommend proper shoe gear, and evaluate whether orthotics are needed. If not treated, shin splints may eventually result in a stress fracture of the shin bone.  

References:
-http://www.getoutandlive.org/races/ogden-marathon-262
-http://www.foothealthfacts.org/Content.aspx?id=1196&terms=shin%20splints 
-http://running.about.com/od/commonrunninginjuries/tp/How-To-Prevent-Shin-Splints.htm