Jogging is one of the most popular forms of maintaining physical fitness. Most people prefer jogging over going to the gym because of its convenience. With jogging, you don’t have to worry about a pricey gym membership or fancy equipment. You simply need a pair of sneakers, and you can start enjoying the numerous health benefits that jogging offers right away. But, despite its numerous health benefits, jogging also places a significant amount of stress on your feet. If you are an ardent jogger, you might occasionally experience pain or discomfort in various parts of your feet. So, how do you deal with that pain?
Side of the Foot
Also known as lateral foot pain, this pain occurs along the outer part of your ankle or foot. You can experience it before, during or after a jog. Common symptoms of lateral foot pain include difficulty walking or standing after a jog, tenderness, swelling, foot instability as well as pain on the outer part of your ankle. Pain on the side of the foot can occur due to various reasons. Some of the most common causes include tendon inflammation, arthritis, pinched, torn or stretched nerves when jogging, as well as ankle joint inflammation, among others. The presence of fine cracks in the ankle and foot pain can also contribute to lateral foot pain. Cuboid syndrome, ankle sprains, stress fractures, peroneal tendonitis, bunions, tarsal coalition, and corns can also lead to lateral foot pain. Increasing your mileage too quickly or jogging without a good pair of jogging sneakers can also leave you with lateral foot pain.
Whether the pain is as a result of overuse it has been caused by an existing condition, you can alleviate it using some home remedies. First, make sure that you give your feet proper rest. If you have experienced this pain after a morning jog, you should avoid activities that exert too much pressure on your feet such as prolonged standing. Icing the foot regularly for 10 to 15 minutes at a time will also provide some relief. Compressing the affected foot using an elastic bandage and elevating it above the heart can also help to alleviate the problem. Other remedies that can help to relieve lateral foot pain include wearing comfortable shoes that are also supportive, switching up your training program and stretching your legs and feet for at least 10 minutes prior to your jog.
Arch of the Foot
Arch pain, affecting one or both feet, is a common problem among joggers and runners. As much as it might resolve on its own, it might sometimes extend to a week or even months, especially if you fail to identify the cause and address it quickly. Plantar fasciitis is usually the main culprit when it comes to arch pain after running. Other causes include posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, overpronation, physical stress, overuse, being overweight, aging, neurological conditions, and cavus foot. Flat feet and Achilles tendons can also trigger plantar fasciitis, which will, in turn, lead to plantar fasciitis.
Similar to other types of foot pain, you can alleviate arch pain through home remedies such as ice massage, ample rest and stretching your feet. Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen sodium and ibuprofen can also provide some relief. Custom orthotics or putting additional cushioning in your running shoes can help you to continue jogging during your healing process. Avoid rough terrain and hills as much as possible during the healing process. Also, try no to run on hard surfaces such as asphalt or concrete. Also, make sure you stretch your legs and feet properly before you embark on your jog. Walking barefoot around the house or wearing unsupportive shoes might also aggravate the pain and even escalate the problem. If you have a tendency of walking barefoot in the house, you should invest in arch support flip flops or other supportive sandals.
The amount of recovery time will depend on the extent of the problem as well as the underlying cause of the pain. If it’s not a serious issue, then the pain will go away on its own within a day or two. However, if plantar fasciitis is the cause of the problem, then the recovery process might take 3 to 12 months. If you undergo surgery, then it might take a year or even longer before you can resume your normal lifestyle.
Painful Big Toe
As much as the big toe might look like a small joint, it plays an important role when you are running or jogging. It generates forward momentum when you are running while providing stability to your feet. Due to its important role in walking and running, the big toe is usually susceptible to various overuse injuries. Big toe injuries are common among people who run or jog regularly. According to Medline Plus, fractures, ingrown toenails, bunions, and corns are the main causes of pain in the big toe. Running can also contribute to big toe injuries turf toe. Wearing ill-fitting shoes when jogging can also lead to toe pain. For instance, if your shoes are too small, then your big toe will not have enough wiggle room, leading to pain and soreness. On the other hand, if your running shoes are too large, then your foot will keep sliding from one side to the other, and this might contribute to toenail trauma.
So, how can you determine whether your jogging shoes are the correct size? First, you should check the position of your big toe. If it’s pressed against the front of the shoe, then the shoes are too small. You can also remove the insoles and stand of them. If the big toe is outside the end of the insole, then you need to change your running shoes. Apart from changing your running shoes, you should also give your injured or painful toe enough time to heal. You can also prevent or minimize toe injuries by using custom orthotics or special inserts. Treatment options include medicine, rest, and massage therapy. You might also have to undergo surgery in extreme cases.
Top of the Foot
If you experience pain at the top of your foot after taking a jog, then you might have tendonitis, neuroma, or metatarsal stress fractures. Pain at the top of the foot can also be caused by bone spurs, peripheral neuropathy, or extensor tendonitis. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, improper running technique, running flimsy shoes, and poor conditioning can also contribute to pain at the top of your foot, as a result of stress fractures. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation, commonly known as RICE, can help you to recover from this pain. If the pain doesn’t subside after using the RICE therapy or it’s preventing you from walking or standing, you need to see a podiatrist. A foot specialist will examine your foot and then recommend the most appropriate treatment method. Some of the available treatment methods for this pain include physical therapy as well as anti-inflammatory drugs. The physician might also recommend a walking boot or a cast if you have broken bones. Make sure you wear shoes with ample support and cushioning during the recovery period. Also, you should avoid activities that place too much strain on your feet such as running or prolonged standing.
Ball of the Foot
Ball of the foot pain is also known as metatarsalgia. It’s mainly caused by unbalanced weight distribution in the foot when walking or running. High arches, a sudden increase in training intensity, stress fractures and ill-fitting shoes are among the main causes of this condition. Also, if your second toe is longer than the big toe, then you might also experience ball of the foot pain. Common symptoms include aching, burning or sharp pain the ball of the foot, tingling or numbness in your toes, pain that increases when you stand, walk, run or flex your feet, and improves whenever you rest. If you experience pain in the ball of the foot after running, you might have metatarsalgia. Metatarsalgia usually resolves on its own or after the application of conservative therapies. Home treatment should help to eliminate this issue and alleviate your pain. Also, make sure you wear the right jogging shoes. And if you have raised arches, then you can use additional arch support. When replacing your running shoes, make sure you choose a pair that comes with forefoot cushioning. If the above approaches fail to minimize the pain, then you can consider using custom orthotics, recommended by a podiatrist.
Without a doubt, jogging offers numerous health and physiological benefits. However, running or jogging with painful feet can be counterproductive. Therefore, make sure that you listen to your body, before, during and after your jogging sessions. If you experience any pain, you should adjust your sessions accordingly. Also, make sure you stretch properly before your runs. You also need to check your running shoes. Most foot injuries are a sign of ill-fitting or improper running shoes. With the right pair of running or jogging shoes, you will significantly reduce foot pain and inflammation.