Runners demand more of their feet than just about any other athlete. If you experience foot pain, a podiatrist might be your best resource for relieving your symptoms and addressing the root causes of your foot issues.
Here are some common treatment solutions podiatrists prescribe for runners experiencing foot pain.
Podiatrists specialize in relieving foot pain. For runners, this can come in a variety of treatments.
E-stem: Electronic stimulation (E-stem) uses mild electrical currents to control muscle contractions. When it comes to feet, e-stem is a safe and easy treatment that can deliver immediate pain relief. Many foot doctors will have their runner patients complete each visit with a brief stint of e-stem.
Anti-inflammatory: Sometimes foot pain can't be properly treated until inflammation has been reduced. If your foot pain compels you to pop a few over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines after your runs, a foot doctor can write a prescription for stronger anti-inflammatory medicines.
ART: Active relief therapy (ART) uses the power of eccentric muscle contractions to elongate muscles. One of the most common ART stretches for foot pain, can be done with a bathroom towel. Sitting with your legs out in front of you, hook the towel around your toes. Using the towel, pull your toes toward your body. After holding for a few seconds, exert resistance against the towel with your feet and toes. Repeat for several cycles until your feet feel more limber and relaxed.
In addition to providing pain relief, your foot doctor can also address the root causes of your discomfort.
Myofascial release: Virtually every muscle and tendon in your lower leg is anchored to your feet. Like the junction points for cables supporting a suspension bridge, many issues start at these junction points. Your foot doctor can break apart the scar tissue that might be limiting your mobility and flexibility with a myofascial release. Although this treatment can be uncomfortable, your foot doctor can use a scraping tool to break apart any liaisons they might find in your feet. They can also show you how to self-administer myofascial release therapy between your visits with a lacrosse or tennis ball.
Custom orthotics: Systemic foot pain for runners can often be the result of asymmetrical foot strike patterns. Your foot doctor can correct your foot strike issues by casting a set of custom orthotics for you. Additionally, for runners, your foot doctor can engineer these orthotics with light-weight materials like carbon fiber.