Unexplained Foot Pain After Running? 4 Common Causes (Plus, What You Can Do to Feel Better)

Every time you go for a run, your post-workout endorphins are hijacked by the gnawing pain in your foot. And though you try to massage it out every day, it comes back anyway. How frustrating. Unexplained foot pain can stem from everyday wear and tear, such as improper running form or ill-fitted shoes, larger issues, like tendonitis or stress fractures, or a combo of all of the above. That’s why we contacted Dr. Chanel Perkins, DPM, aka Fab Foot Doc, to give us the rundown on the four most common causes of foot pain after running so that you not only know the root of the problem but how to prevent it as well.

© praetorianphoto/Getty Images

1. Plantar Fasciitis

The main culprit for foot pain after running is a condition known as plantar fasciitis which occurs due to overuse of that ligament. “It will often present as heel pain that is sharp and stabbing,” says Dr. Perkins. “The plantar fascia is a thick ligament on the bottom of the foot which attaches to the heel bone. Running can result in excessive stress and strain on the plantar fascia ligament which can lead to inflammation and even small microtears in the ligament.” Improving running form and the overall biomechanics of the feet—usually achieved by getting appropriate insoles—can help avoid any heel pain. 

Another tried and true way of preventing plantar fasciitis is stretching before you run. Stretches such as the heel raise and calf stretches will ensure that part of your foot is nicely warmed up before a run and nicely relaxed afterward. Proper shoes and rigid arch supports will also help take the stress and strain off the plantar fascia ligament, says Dr. Perkins.

How to treat plantar fasciitis:

  • Rest. The best thing you can do to reduce the inflammation is taking a break from running and any other highly impactful activities, according to Dr. Perkins. Proper rest will allow the ligament to calm down so that any inflammation has an opportunity to heal itself.
  • Ice the area. This may be the oldest trick in a book but it’s a go-to for a reason. “Icing is a natural anti-inflammatory that will help soothe any inflammation in the ligament,” she advises.
  • Try a tennis ball massage. Place a tennis ball on the ground and gently roll it under your barefoot for a few minutes. This will help loosen up the plantar fascia ligament. Make sure you put enough pressure on the ball to get a deep foot massage.
  • Take anti-inflammatories. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories such as Ibuprofen may also help.

 2. Stress Fracture

A stress fracture is a small break in the bone which can cause sharp pain whenever the foot is carrying weight (i.e., walking, running, standing). Like plantar fasciitis, most stress fractures are the result of repetitive overuse, that’s why it’s no surprise a lot of runners fall victim. “Any bone in the foot is susceptible to developing a stress fracture, but the metatarsal bones are most affected,” Dr. Perkins tells us. “A new runner or a runner switching from the treadmill to outdoor running may experience a stress fracture. According to Sports Health, symptoms of a stress fracture may include sharp, localized pain, tenderness, swelling, changes in biomechanics—walking/running differently to avoid putting pressure on the area—and bruising.

To avoid a stress fracture, it’s best to gradually increase your running distance and intensity, as opposed to going all Usain Bolt overnight. Pacing yourself gives your foot more time to adjust to its new demands. Dr. Perkins also recommends you mix up your workouts. Add some cross-training exercises—hiking, walking, cycling, walking—so that your foot isn’t constantly stressed.

How to treat a stress fracture:

  • Get a proper diagnosis. Stress fractures need a proper diagnosis to identify, so if all signs are leading you to believe you have one, your first step should be a visit to a licensed podiatrist for a diagnosis.
  • Rest. Again, you can never go wrong with giving the foot a break. Dr. Perkins advocates for resting your foot for six to eight weeks to allow the stress fracture to properly heal. In severe cases immobilization in a boot or even a cast may be necessary.          

 3. Tendonitis

“Muscle tendons are prone to developing tendinitis if there is chronic stress or an injury that leads to inflammation of that tendon. Runners will usually develop either peroneal tendonitis or Achilles tendinitis,” Dr. Perkins tells us.  “If there is pain on the lateral (outside) of the foot or outside of the ankle joint, that pain is usually due to peroneal tendonitis. If the pain is in the back of the ankle joint near the heel bone, the pain is typical of Achilles tendinitis.” Tendonitis is also signified by swelling and stiffness in the foot.

To keep tendonitis at bay, stretches of the calf and ankle are highly recommended, so a little bit of downward dog and some ankle circles can go a long way. You should also refrain from running on uneven terrain like hills because they add stress to your foot. Again, gradually increasing activity and cross-training can help lower your chances of getting tendonitis.  

How to treat tendonitis:

  • Get a proper diagnosis. “Always see a licensed podiatrist to diagnose and get advanced imaging, if necessary, to rule out a potential tendon tear,” advises Dr. Perkins.
  • Avoid stretching too much. This may sound counterintuitive, “but once diagnosed, too much stretching can sometimes further injure and aggravate an already inflamed tendon,” she says. So, follow your doctor’s instructions on the proper way to rehabilitate your type of injury.

 4. Blisters 

One of the worst parts about getting new running shoes are the potential hazards that come with breaking in new gear. One of those is blisters. Blisters are most commonly caused by friction/rubbing between the skin and a sock or shoe. However, blisters are also common in runners running long distances or those with sweaty feet.

To avoid getting blisters, make sure you wear appropriate socks with your running shoes. A nice pair of moisture-wicking socks will help your feet stay dry as you break a sweat. You should also wear shoes that fit properly. “Not too tight and not too loose,” says Dr. Perkins. “It is recommended to size up a half size for running shoes since feet expand in length and width with impact.” Lastly, apply a skin protectant or lubricant such as petroleum jelly on areas more prone to developing blisters. Baby powders or anti-chafing powder can also be used to keep feet dry during a run.

How to treat blisters:

  •  Don’t pop them. It may seem like a harmless thing to do, especially when they’re small, but under no circumstances should you pop your blisters. Doing so may lead to bacterial infection. For prominent blisters, the American Academy of Dermatology advises that you loosely cover the blister with a bandage, or use moleskin padding if they’re on pressure areas such as the bottom of your foot. If the blisters are small and aren’t causing any discomfort, leave them alone as they’ll dry up on their own. 

So, the next time you go for a run, make sure you stretch and that you’re wearing shoes and socks that may help your unexplained foot pain. And don’t forget to rest!

Article by Stephanie Sengwe for PureWow©

Unexplained Foot Pain After Running? A Podiatrist Breaks Down 4 Common Causes (Plus, What You Can Do to Feel Better) (msn.com)

(Note: You don’t have to be a runner to feel these types of pain. Walkers, gardeners, nurses, teachers, almost anyone on their feet, can feel these injuries.)

The Best Kettlebells to Bring Your Workout to the Next Level

By Stefani Sassos, MS, RDN, CSO, CDN

  • Slide 1 of 7: If you're looking to enhance your workout, be it cardio or strength training, look no further than the kettlebell. This functional piece of equipment provides for a total-body workout, allowing you to work both those larger and smaller muscle groups. Kettlebell exercises require a ton of technique and control, but when done properly can help you build up endurance, stamina, and strength. Kettlebells can be a bit costly, but the investment is worth it since you can perform a wide variety of exercises with just one piece of equipment. Lauren Jenai, CrossFit co-founder and CEO of Manifest, says you want to consider strength, balance, durability, surface, and base when purchasing kettlebells. "It is important that a kettlebell has a clean, void-free surface that is not too rough on your hands," says Jenai. Our top picks for the best kettlebells focused on durability, grip comfort, ease of use through functional workout movements, and overall size.
  • Slide 7 of 7: $27.00Shop NowDesigned by powerlifter Donnie Thompson, this mix between a dumbbell and kettlebell allows for better handling and can help optimize performance in certain movements, such as chest presses and pushups. We like the flat bottom for stability and the fact that design allows more load distribution through the center of the weight. They don't take up a ton of space and even look nice sitting in your home.

If you’re looking to enhance your workout, be it cardio or strength training, look no further than the kettlebell. This functional piece of equipment provides for a total-body workout, allowing you to work both those larger and smaller muscle groups. Kettlebell exercises require a ton of technique and control, but when done properly can help you build up endurance, stamina, and strength. Kettlebells can be a bit costly, but the investment is worth it since you can perform a wide variety of exercises with just one piece of equipment. Lauren Jenai, CrossFit co-founder and CEO of Manifest, says you want to consider strength, balance, durability, surface, and base when purchasing kettlebells. “It is important that a kettlebell has a clean, void-free surface that is not too rough on your hands,” says Jenai. Our top picks for the best kettlebells focused on durability, grip comfort, ease of use through functional workout movements, and overall size. © Melpomenem – Getty Images

Slide 2 of 7: $32.00Shop NowThese Rogue Kettlebells are a staple in CrossFit gyms around the world, and for good reason. They are a single-piece casting kettlebell made from first run iron ore, and have a matte black powder coat finish that makes them quite comfortable. Jenai likes this pick and says, "As far as home use, I particularly like the fact that these kettlebells are made with a wide flat machined base. This base sits flat on the floor and does not wobble, like other raw casted kettlebells, which keep down wear and tear on floors. The attractive finish on these kettlebells is not an eyesore and does not distract from home or home gym decor."
© Rogue

1) Single Piece Casting Kettlebell

$32.00

Shop Now

These Rogue Kettlebells are a staple in CrossFit gyms around the world, and for good reason. They are a single-piece casting kettlebell made from first run iron ore, and have a matte black powder coat finish that makes them quite comfortable. Jenai likes this pick and says, “As far as home use, I particularly like the fact that these kettlebells are made with a wide flat machined base. This base sits flat on the floor and does not wobble, like other raw casted kettlebells, which keep down wear and tear on floors. The attractive finish on these kettlebells is not an eyesore and does not distract from home or home gym decor.”

Slide 3 of 7: $89.99Shop NowThis well-rounded kettlebell pick comes in sizes 7 through 45lbs. We like the sturdy iron construction and comfortable handle. The smooth vinyl coating on the base of the kettlebell makes it a good choice for home gyms as it won't scratch your flooring. The size is relatively compact and appropriate for each weight, not overly cumbersome in any regard, and excellent for ballistic movements like swings. I've owned the 35lb GoFit Kettlebell for over 10 years, and with semi-regular use, it still is in great condition and looks practically new.
© Go Fit

2) Vinyl Coated Kettlebell

$89.99

Shop Now

This well-rounded kettlebell pick comes in sizes 7 through 45lbs. We like the sturdy iron construction and comfortable handle. The smooth vinyl coating on the base of the kettlebell makes it a good choice for home gyms as it won’t scratch your flooring. The size is relatively compact and appropriate for each weight, not overly cumbersome in any regard, and excellent for ballistic movements like swings. I’ve owned the 35lb GoFit Kettlebell for over 10 years, and with semi-regular use, it still is in great condition and looks practically new.

Slide 4 of 7: $25.49Shop NowWe tested this kettlebell designed by Tone It Up founders Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn through a series of workouts, and it performed especially well with toning exercises. The material itself is smooth and prevents your hand from slipping, and the grip is very comfortable throughout movements. Some kettlebells we tested that were lightweight had a very large and overly cumbersome shape, but this Tone It Up kettlebell is compact and an appropriate size for 8lbs. The lightweight is perfect for sculpting workouts and also for beginners looking to start kettlebell work.
© Tone It Up

3) Tone It Up Kettlebell

$25.49

Shop Now

We tested this kettlebell designed by Tone It Up founders Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn through a series of workouts, and it performed especially well with toning exercises. The material itself is smooth and prevents your hand from slipping, and the grip is very comfortable throughout movements. Some kettlebells we tested that were lightweight had a very large and overly cumbersome shape, but this Tone It Up kettlebell is compact and an appropriate size for 8lbs. The lightweight is perfect for sculpting workouts and also for beginners looking to start kettlebell work.

Slide 5 of 7: $229.00Shop NowWe were very impressed by this smart kettlebell from JAXJOX given its special features and integration with your smartphone (their app allows you to track reps and workouts, and also connects with Apple Health). Kettlebell Connect is adjustable, and weights range from 12-42 lbs in 6lb increments. For the price, you're essentially getting six kettlebells in one. We also love that instead of getting different size kettlebells, which can take up a lot of space in a home gym, you're able to use this space-efficient product that also has a sleek, modern look. Another plus is that the JAXJOX app features a variety of kettlebell workouts to get you started. The grip is quite comfortable as well, and we found it worked best in strict workout movements.
© JaxJox

4) Kettlebell Connect

$229.00

Shop Now

We were very impressed by this smart kettlebell from JAXJOX given its special features and integration with your smartphone (their app allows you to track reps and workouts, and also connects with Apple Health). Kettlebell Connect is adjustable, and weights range from 12-42 lbs in 6lb increments. For the price, you’re essentially getting six kettlebells in one. We also love that instead of getting different size kettlebells, which can take up a lot of space in a home gym, you’re able to use this space-efficient product that also has a sleek, modern look. Another plus is that the JAXJOX app features a variety of kettlebell workouts to get you started. The grip is quite comfortable as well, and we found it worked best in strict workout movements.

Slide 6 of 7: $84.95Shop NowNot only do these primal kettlebells from Onnit make a statement in your home gym, but they are actually quite functional. With a solid iron build, they hold up very well and have a comfortable, yet sturdy grip. The size is relatively compact given the weight, and the design makes you want to take your workout into beast mode. It's ideal for swings and deadlifts, but it's not the best for movements overhead such as snatches or presses given its asymmetry.
© Onnit

5) Primal Kettlebells

$84.95

Shop Now

Not only do these primal kettlebells from Onnit make a statement in your home gym, but they are actually quite functional. With a solid iron build, they hold up very well and have a comfortable, yet sturdy grip. The size is relatively compact given the weight, and the design makes you want to take your workout into beast mode. It’s ideal for swings and deadlifts, but it’s not the best for movements overhead such as snatches or presses given its asymmetry.

Slide 7 of 7: $27.00Shop NowDesigned by powerlifter Donnie Thompson, this mix between a dumbbell and kettlebell allows for better handling and can help optimize performance in certain movements, such as chest presses and pushups. We like the flat bottom for stability and the fact that design allows more load distribution through the center of the weight. They don't take up a ton of space and even look nice sitting in your home.
© Rogue

6) Thompson Fatbells

$27.00

Shop Now

Designed by powerlifter Donnie Thompson, this mix between a dumbbell and kettlebell allows for better handling and can help optimize performance in certain movements, such as chest presses and pushups. We like the flat bottom for stability and the fact that design allows more load distribution through the center of the weight. They don’t take up a ton of space and even look nice sitting in your home.

Source:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/fitness/the-best-kettlebells-to-bring-your-workout-to-the-next-level/ss-BB14G7ui?ocid=spartanntp#image=1