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Runners: Don't Let These Four Foot Disorders Trip You Up

Competitive runners are vulnerable to a variety of foot disorders. Some, such as a athlete's foot, are rather minor, but others are more serious. A serious foot problem may keep you from training and result in missing important competitions. This article takes a closer look at four common foot disorders that all runners need to guard against. 

Metatarsal Stress Fracture

Your metatarsal bones are five long bones that extend from the back of the foot to your toes. When these bones develop small breaks due to overuse, the condition is called a stress fracture. Runners are particularly vulnerable to this injury, as they are often striking a hard surface with their feet. The main symptoms include swelling, pain and tenderness around the point of the fracture. If you suspect that you have a metatarsal stress fracture, try to avoid putting weight on the injured foot until you can see your physician. 

Extensor Tendinitis

This injury involve your extensor tendons, which run from the middle of your lower leg down to your foot. When the tendons become inflamed, which generally occurs as a result of overuse, the top of your foot will feel painful and the pain usually increases when you run. Another possible cause of this condition is changing your training regimen. For example, a regimen that includes running uphill may increase the likelihood of developing this disorder. 

Plantar Fasciitis

This condition results in swelling and tenderness in the bottom of your foot, especially in the heel. The pain is generally worst just after you wake up in the morning and often decreases in intensity as the day progresses. The typical treatment plan involves exercises that build up the muscles on your lower leg. In some cases, wearing a splint may help. 

Morton's Neuroma

When a nerve between your toes becomes irritated and the tissue around it starts to thicken, the resulting disorder is called Morton's Neuroma. The main symptom is a burning or stinging pain on the balls of you feet. In some cases, numbness may be present also. Treatment options include steroid injections to reduce the swelling and wearing looser shoes. Using shoe pads or inserts may also help in some instances.

All of these foot disorders usually respond to conventional treatment, especially if they are caught early. To prevent any of these conditions from interfering with your competitive running schedule, contact a sports podiatrist like one from Elmhurst Podiatry Center Ltd immediately when you notice any relevant symptoms.