Using Good Warm Up Techniques To Prevent These Two Painful Foot Problems

Health & Medical Blog

Whether you're on your way out to walk a nature trail or start a marathon, having an effective warm-up routine for your feet is important. If you don't prepare your feet properly, you may find yourself stopped on the trail or kept out of the race by a couple of painful foot conditions. Plantar fasciitis and Achilles' tendonitis can be so painful that they keep you from putting any weight on your feet. Here is why these two conditions occur and how to keep them from spoiling your outing.

Pushing Your Feet When They Aren't Ready

If you head out on the trail or start a race without preparing your feet, the muscles, tendons and other soft tissues can easily become overworked. The stress on these tissues can create irritation, then inflammation and pain. Depending on where the irritation occurs, you can develop one of these painful conditions:

Plantar fasciitis - This is the irritation of a small band of tissue on the bottom of your foot. The plantar fascia stretches between your heel bone and the base of your toes. When this tissue becomes stressed, you can have severe pain along the bottom of your feet. The pain can be so intense that your foot collapses under your weight.

Achilles' tendonitis - The large tendon that connects your calf muscle to your heel is the Achilles' tendon. If this is irritated, it will become swollen and painful. You won't be able to flex your foot and will have difficulty walking.

Preventing These Foot Problems

A good warm up routine for your feet will keep these painful conditions from happening. Some of the ways to prepare your feet include:

  • roll your bare feet over a small rubber ball to stretch out the plantar fascia
  • flex your feet up and down and rotate them first in one direction, then the other
  • while standing, get up on your toes, then relax back down, and repeat
  • massage your feet to improve the circulation, which reduces inflammation
  • literally warm up your feet in cold weather to let the tissues stretch out slowly and naturally

Your footwear can also be the cause of these painful problems. Watch for the following issues and correct them before demanding top performance from your feet:

  • Improperly fitting shoes - Your shoes should fit snugly around the entire foot. If they are tight in one or more areas, circulation in the foot can be compromised.
  • Poor arch support - If your arch isn't properly supported, the plantar fascia becomes overly stretched.
  • Irritation on the heel - If the back of the shoe rubs against the Achilles' tendon, it also becomes irritated.

Your socks can also irritate your foot. If they rub against the bottom of your foot or allow your foot to slide around in the shoe, you can develop one of these conditions. Snug fitting cotton socks that absorb moisture prevent these problems.

When The Pain Persists

If you take the time to prepare your feet, but frequently develop one of these painful conditions, see a foot doctor for an evaluation. You could be dealing with other problems contributing to the pain, such as:

  • genetic weakness of the muscle and tendons in your feet
  • bones spurs that irritate the plantar fascia or Achilles' tendon
  • weakened tendons and tissues from a previous injury

Your doctor will recommend devices to support your feet, physical therapy and even surgery to correct these issues and stop the foot conditions from happening.


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