If you are just getting into running, then you need to know a few basic things about foot health. This is not only to keep your feet healthy for runs but also knowing the signs of issues that can lead you to need a foot specialist. Here are three issues for runners that will require a foot specialist and what you need to know about each issue. Keep in mind, each of these is preventable and treatable.
Toenail Fungal Issues
One of the leading issues that runners have with their foot health is toenail fungus. The fungus can develop from a number of issues. One of the first issues is not changing out socks following your run. By leaving the socks, especially for a long duration of time, you can trap the heat and bacteria onto your feet and toenail area. This allows bacteria to grow and breed in and around your toenail beds causing a fungus to take hold. The fungus can lead to severe painful toes, loss of the toenail, and possible ongoing issues if not treated.
Blisters and Open Sores
As you run more, you may start to develop blisters and open sores on your feet. These can easily become infected and can be incredibly painful to you during the course of your normal day. One way to deal with this is to make sure you are noticing pressure points after each run. If an area looks redder than others, it could be rubbing on your shoe or your sock during the run. If this is the case, you can use moleskin to protect the area. You may also want to consider a different type of sock that fits your feet without moving or causing friction. If the pressure is too much on one area, consider being fitted for a new pair of running shoes. If a blister does open, contact your foot specialist immediately for treatment to prevent infection.
A common issue with runners that can develop quickly is a stress fracture. This type of issue is caused by the vibration and ongoing pressure put on the foot during your runs. In most cases, it can be due to either the type of shoe you are wearing, the terrain you are on, or both. If you begin to feel pain with every impact of your foot during the run, contact your foot specialist as soon as possible. They can help with the fracture as well as offer ways to help reduce stress fractures in the future.
If you believe you are developing one of these issues, contact your local podiatrist or foot specialist. They can assist you with diagnosis, treatment plans, and with questions about preventative steps to avoid the foot health issue in the future. They can also help with other preventative tips and steps to reduce other future foot health issues.