When you start an aerobic exercise program after being sedentary for a long time, it's important to start out slowly and build up your tolerance so you can avoid an injury. You may not give your feet much thought, but pushing yourself to run or even walk long distances without working up to it can cause pain in your feet and ankles. Here are some ways to deal with foot pain caused by over-activity.
Rest Is An Important Way To Help Healing
If you notice pain in your ankles or feet when you start running or using a treadmill, then you should rest rather than push yourself to keep going. Pain is a sign of injury and inflammation and shouldn't be ignored. You can take up an alternative form of exercise such as swimming or using weights until your feet are on the mend. If you're training for a competition, then resting at the first signs of pain can prevent injuries that cause you even longer downtime in the future.
A Podiatrist Can Help With Foot And Ankle Pain
If the pain doesn't go away with rest or if you're training and you can't stay inactive for a long time, then see a podiatrist. A foot and ankle specialist can help you get back in action as quickly as possible and safely too so you don't do serious damage to your feet. Pushing yourself could lead to stress fractures or tendonitis, and these conditions take a long time to heal. A podiatrist might suggest shoe inserts and a different style of shoes so your feet are supported. You might be taught how to tape your feet or wear a support splint to manage pain.
Reducing Inflammation Can Help With Pain
Sometimes pain is caused by tissue inflammation in your feet due to overuse. Resting the painful area on an ice pack can help reduce inflammation, but when your pain is severe, the podiatrist might recommend medications that can help, including an injection in your foot. Also, a foot and ankle specialist can rule out medical problems with your feet such as arthritis, bursitis, or gout that could be the source of your pain and require medical treatments to control.
Exercises Can Strengthen Your Ankles
If you've been sedentary due to a desk job or illness, then the muscles in your ankles and feet may be weak. Your podiatrist might teach you exercises and stretches to do that strengthen your muscles so your ankles have better support when you start running. By having stronger muscles, you might prevent problems with pain and injuries once you become more active.
Foot and ankle pain is a common problem associated with running and other forms of aerobic activity that involves weight bearing on your feet. Sometimes, the pain is caused by a twist or stepping on something hard the wrong way. Other times, the pain can be due to overexertion that causes tiny injuries to the tissues in your feet. If resting and elevating your feet don't help the pain go away quickly, then seek help from a sports medicine podiatrist so you can exercise safely and enjoy the benefits it brings to your health.