Foot pain after running can be arise from numerous causes such as improper footwear, bad running posture, to excessive running.
The key to any type of pain is pinpointing exactly where it is coming from and why it has begun to hurt.
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Running causes this to happen to a lot of people, and believe it or not even expert marathon runners endure foot pain and other various injuries.
Obviously, prevention is priority since you want to avoid such pain in the first place.
Top of Foot Pain
Pain on top of your feet is very common amongst newer runners because it usually occurs from improper footwear.
This type of pain is medically called extensor tendonitis and occurs as inflammation in the tendons which are used to straighten your toes.
Improper footwear causes injuries from:
- Lacing the shoe laces too tightly
- Shoes fit too tightly or too snug
Tight footwear will pinch down on the tendon and possibly cause swelling to occur.
Another symptom that makes people very worried is blackening of the toenail(s), but it is not generally a serious condition, however it will be painful for a couple of weeks.
This condition can be easily prevented by simply getting properly fitted shoes and lacing them correctly.
To avoid placing too much pressure on the tendons, you want the laces to be tightened down on an area that does not involve the tendons. For example, you could “ladder lace” your shoes.
Ladder lacing is when you lace your shoes to where the laces fall and tighten on the middle of your metatarsals opposed to the extensor tendons (see the video below).
In conjunction with using icepacks to reduce inflammation, this technique should minimise top of foot pain.
Bottom of Foot Pain
Foot pain on the bottom of your feet usually derives from plantar fasciitis, which is a band of tissue that is located around the arch of your foot.
Plantar is the medical term for the bottom parts of the foot, and the plantar fascia runs along the bottom of your foot and simply has no elasticity, which means injury is quite easy to occur from the arch being overstressed during running.
You will normally start to feel the pain the next day after your first begin to take steps, or when you start your running.
Generally a warm-up is going to relieve the pain and cover up the symptoms, but later in your run it comes back twice as painful.
Despite how serious this acute inflammation sounds – it is very common amongst runners.
There really is nothing to worry about, but the pain will haunt you for a short period of time until the inflammation subsides.
I sometimes experience minor plantar fasciitis mid-run and I discovered a neat trick that usually reduces the discomfort.
Try taking your shoes off when you start to experience bottom of foot pain, ensure our socks are a bit baggy and put the shoes back on.
The baggy socks should help reduce any stretching pressure on the skin of the bottom of your feet and therefore reduce any pain.
I’ve also discovered from experience that tight calf muscles can cause foot pain which is not plantar fasciitis after/during a run.
When I was fitted for orthotics, the doctor informed me my calf muscles are too tight and that I would need to stretch a few times a day for several weeks.
I realized that although the orthotics have helped reduce the pain, stretching my calf muscles contributed more to the reduction of the foot pain I was experiencing.
As just mentioned, the easiest way to prevent this type of pain is to perform calf muscle stretches 2–3 times a day.
You are targeting the area where the two calf muscles combine together and form what is known as the Achilles tendon.
My doctor recommended preforming step stretches and with this stretch alone, I have reduced my foot pain after running.
If you find you need further stretching try one of the following techniques:
- Calf Raises
- Towel Curls
- Toe Spread and Squeeze
- Seated Plantar Fascia Stretch
Night Splintsfoot pain after running are also handy to have around since they keep your feet in a fully stretched position while you are sleeping.
If you are also experiencing pain elsewhere in your legs such as your knee you could have runner’s knee and this will need to be treated separately.
Determining if you require Orthotics
Orthotics are the inserts that you place inside your shoes and are used to correct posture.
Orthotics can be found in most convenient stores as over the counter treatment for pain relief and can be ordered along from websites such as these Insoles from Amazonfoot pain after running.
However, like I did, you may want to seek professionally fitted orthotics if you are suffering from painful symptoms that come from plantar fasciitis, extensor tendonitis, or any other related foot pain injuries after running.
The professionals will usually use a device that pinpoints the distribution of your weight in relation to your feet, and take into account what injury you are suffering from.
Next, they create a custom fitted orthotic that works for no other person.
So, if you are experiencing extreme pain causing you to not be able to even walk very far, then you need professional treatment.
If the foot pain after running or during running is only minor try using over-the-counter orthotics to save yourself money before seeing a professional.