As a runner, you push your body to new limits and set your goals high when it comes to physical endurance, which is bound to come with an occasional injury. However, perhaps the most common injuries for runners are those injuries to the feet. You are at a greater risk for fractures to one of the 26 bones you have in your feet because of the physical demands you place on this part of your body, which offers primary support while you move. Even though running does come along with a risk of foot fractures, there is a helpful list of things you can do to prevent problems.
Stretch your calf muscles before you get started.
Your calves lay a crucial role in the mechanics of running, taking a lot of stress off of your feet with every step. However, if your calf muscles are tight, it can mean more impact on your feet, which can also mean a higher likelihood of stress fractures. In fact, runners with tight calf muscles are as much as 4.6 percent more likely to sustain fractures to their feet. While you may already know to do stretches and warm up before you take off running, one specific area that you should be sure to target is your calf muscles.
Switch up the terrain on which you run.
You may prefer to take your daily run on pavement or concrete, but the harder the surface is that you run on, the more likely it could be that you eventually sustain a stress fracture. If you want to lower your chances of dealing with a fracture in your foot, it is a good idea to try softer terrain when you go for a run. Grassy areas, dirt paths, and even jogging tracks covered in shock-absorbing material are always a safer bet. If you don't have daily access to these places, at least try to change up your routine so you are not consistently running on hard surfaces.
Wear shoes that are not well worn.
If you are like a lot of runners, you prefer a certain pair of shoes because you have been wearing them long enough that they seem "broken-in" or more comfortable. However, when you run, the shoes you have on your feet play a huge role in preventing fractures to your feet. New shoes that still have ample shock absorbency in the soles are much better for preventing stress on your foot as you run. Therefore, it is always a good idea to invest in new shoes when your old running shoes start to show signs of wear on the heels.
For more information, contact Jeffrey M Marks DPM or a similar medical professional.