New York, NY (March 24, 2016) – Spring is in the air, and for many runners—from beginners to experienced competitors—that means an increased focus on training, mileage, and performance. But don’t lace up and head out just yet—the American Board of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry (ABMSP) urges runners of all levels to take some simple steps to ensure that their most important pieces of running equipment, theirfeet, are healthy and protected.
There’s no doubt that runners’ feet take a pounding, and this makes them vulnerable to a wide range of ailments, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and even stress fractures. Dr. John Coleman, D.P.M., has seen them all. A practicing podiatrist and an avid runner, he frequently volunteers in the medical tent at running races and is well versed in the foot ailments that commonly plague runners who have not taken proper preventive measures. Coleman, who is board-certified in Primary Care in Podiatric Medicine and Foot and Ankle Surgery by the ABMSP, says there are threebasic rules for runners to follow before launching a new spring training program that will ensure better foot health for years to come.
- Schedule a complete foot exam, and bring your running shoes along for an inspection as well. “Podiatrists are trained to check wear patterns of running shoes,” Coleman said. “Their background in biomechanics enables them to watch you walk and run and identify issues that can cause or contribute to injuries.”
- Find the right footwear. “Your podiatrist will assess the need of custom orthotics,” Coleman said. “A runner should also visit a running specialty store, where trained consultants will evaluate your foot type and shoe needs.”
- Listen to your feet. A marathon-induced blister is one thing, Coleman said. But sudden pain, persistent soreness, or even skin changes in your feet can be a sign of an underlying condition that could be caused or aggravated by running regimens. Pay attention to your feet and be sure to examine them frequently for visual signs of problems.