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Posts for tag: running

By Dr. Howard Schaengold
November 03, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: running  

If you're a runner, it goes without saying that your feet take the brunt of the punishment. In fact, for runners the feet are more vulnerable to injury than any other part of the body. Luckily, both long-distance runners and casual joggers can improve their performance by paying extra attention to their feet and taking steps to prevent common foot problems. Poor fitting footwear is often the source of many foot problems caused by running. A visit to our practice can help you determine the best shoes for your foot structure.

A Runner's Roadblock

While many running-related foot injuries can result from a fall or twisted ankle, most running injuries are caused by overuse, meaning the majority of runners experience foot and ankle pain because they do too much for too long. Runners should be aware of the signs of foot problems that can slow them down if not treated promptly. Common foot and ankle injuries experienced by runners include:

Achilles Tendonitis: Achilles tendonitis and other calf-related injuries are prevalent in runners. Poor training, overuse and improper footwear are the three most common reasons for this condition. A sudden increase in distance or pace can strain the muscles and tendons in the foot and ankle, causing small tears within these structures that result in pain and inflammation. Appropriate shoes and training are the most important steps to preventing Achilles tendonitis. Conservative treatment includes rest, ice, stretching and sometimes orthotics or physical therapy.

Heel Pain: Runners develop heel pain more than any other foot-related injury. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, the result of placing excessive stress on the ligament in the bottom of the foot. Rest, stretching and support are the best ways to ease the pain and inflammation. Reduce your mileage and avoid hill and speed workouts. Stretch before and after you run, and ice your heel after each workout. Special splints and shoe inserts from our practice may also provide support and relief for your heel pain.

Stress Fractures: Stress fractures are small cracks in the surface of a bone. Runners generally notice gradual muscle soreness, stiffness and pain on the affected bone, most often in the lower leg or the foot. Early diagnosis is critical, as a small fracture can spread and eventually become a complete fracture of the bone. Stress fractures are typically caused by increasing training more quickly than the body's ability to build up and strengthen the bone.

If you have symptoms of a stress fracture, you should stop running immediately and see a podiatrist. This injury can keep a runner off the track for several weeks, and is not an injury that you can run through. Depending on the severity of the stress fracture, a cast may be necessary.

If you experience chronic foot pain from running, make an appointment with a podiatrist. Leaving foot injuries untreated could result in more serious conditions, ultimately keeping you from your best performance. Keep in mind that these are not the only foot ailments caused by running, and when at-home foot care isn't effective, you'll need to be evaluated by a podiatrist. As in most cases, prevention is the best medicine. Good footwear, proper training and recognizing a problem before it becomes serious are your keys to staying on the road and avoiding foot injuries.

Running Shoes

If you’re a runner, then you know that your shoes are an integral piece of equipment when it comes to comfort, performance and injury prevention.  Your foot type and function will determine which type of running shoe will be best for your unique needs and training regimen. A shoe must properly fit the shape and design of your foot before you can train in it comfortably.

There are several factors to consider when searching for a new running shoe. These may include:

  • Foot structure
  • Foot function
  • Body type
  • Existing foot problems
  • Biomechanical needs
  • Training regimen
  • Environmental factors
  • Previously worn running shoe

Failing to replace old, worn shoes is a major cause of running injuries, as old shoes gradually lose their stability and shock absorption capacity. The typical lifespan of a pair of running shoes is approximately 500 miles. It’s important to keep track of their mileage to avoid overuse.

Helpful tips for choosing your shoes include:

  • Go to a reputable shoe store that specializes in running footwear
  • Bring your old/current running shoes with you
  • Know your foot type, shape as well as any problems you’ve previously experienced
  • Have your feet measured
  • Wear the same socks you wear when training
  • Try on both shoes, and give them a test run

If you’re a beginning runner and just starting your training regimen, then it’s a good idea to visit Howard Schaengold, DPM for an evaluation. Your podiatrist will examine your feet, identify potential problems, and discuss the best running shoes for your foot structure and type.Seasoned runners should also visit their Sammamish podiatrist periodically to check for potential injuries.

Don’t allow poor shoes choices derail your training program and jeopardize your running goals.  A proper-fitting running shoe is an invaluable training tool that allows you to perform your best without injury or pain. The correct footwear, in combination with a proper training routine and professional attention from a skilled Sammamish podiatrist is the key to minimizing faulty foot mechanicsand maximizing your performance.

By Howard Schaengold, DPM
April 16, 2012
Category: Foot Care
Tags: proper footwear   running   stretching   injuries  

Physically active feetYour feet are made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, 112 ligaments and a vast network of tendons, nerves and blood vessels.  Each of these parts works in harmony, enabling you to walk, run and jump normally and without pain.  

But before jumping into a rigorous workout or fitness program that involves running, you may want to give your feet some extra attention, starting with a trip to your Sammamish podiatrist. A professional podiatrist can properly examine your feet, detect potential problems, and provide tips for injury-free training and shoe selection.

Beginning runners are not the only ones who should see a podiatrist. Frequent runners should also pay their podiatrist a visit from time to time to check for any stress on the lower extremities brought on by repetitive force.

Common injuries experienced by runners include plantar fasciitis, heel spurts, Achilles tendon and stress fractures.

Helpful Tips for Preventing Injury

In addition to visiting Howard Schaengold, DPM, you can also prevent injuries that commonly occur during training and running by stretching properly, choosing appropriate footwear and paying attention to pain or signs of an injury. 

  • Stretch

To prevent injury to your lower extremities, it’s important to stretch carefully before beginning any workout regimen. When muscles are properly warmed up and stretched, the risk for injury is greatly reduced. Appropriate stretches include stretching of the hamstring and wall push-ups.

  • Choose Proper Footwear

The type of shoe you should wear also plays an important role in your ability to run without pain and with optimal performance. The shoe that your foot requires will depend on your foot structure and function, your body type, and the type of running or workout regimen. Your podiatrist may also prescribe an orthotic, or shoe insert, to alleviate any foot pain or anomalies.

  • Be Mindful of Injuries

Even with proper footwear and stretching, not all foot problems can be prevented. Whenever you experience pain, stop whatever workout you are doing and rest. As pain subsides, gradually increase exercise with caution.  When pain persists, visit Howard Schaengold, DPM for a proper evaluation.

New joggers and seasoned runners alike should take the necessary steps to avoid injury to the lower limbs. Consult with your Sammamish podiatrist before start any new workout, and always seek professional care when pain or injury occurs.

By Howard Schaengold, DPM
April 02, 2012
Category: Toe Problems
Tags: Turf Toe   RICE   running   athletes  

Turf toe is a sprain of the joint just below the big toe, also known as the first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint.  Although it’s a condition most commonly associated with dancers, soccer players, wrestlers, gymnasts and football players, you don’t have to be an athlete to get it.

This foot injury is particularly common among athletes who play on artificial turf, hence the name “turf” toe. When athletes play sports on turf or other hard surfaces, the foot can stick to the ground, resulting in jamming of the big toe joint.  Typically with turf toe the injury is sudden, but it can also occur after sustaining multiple injuries, such as pushing off repeatedly when running or jumping.  

Symptoms of turf toe range from mild to severe, and may gradually worsen with continued movement. The most common symptoms of turf toe include:

  • Swelling and pain at the joint of the big toe
  • Pain and tenderness when bending the toe
  • Stiffness and limited movement of the big toe joint

If your symptoms are indicative of turf toe, then you may be able to relieve the pain and swelling with the following self-treatment. 

  • Ice the injury
  • Apply a compression bandage
  • Rest and temporarily discontinue any physical activity
  • Wear a brace to protect the toe and to limit bending

For more severe cases of turf toe, visit Howard Schaengold, DPM for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. A Sammamish podiatrist can easily diagnose turf toe through an evaluation that includes range of motion and joint stability tests. 

Professional treatment may include exercises to strengthen the toe, modified footwear or splinting. With proper treatment you can eliminate pain resulting from turf toe and regain your full range of motion in order to return to your favorite sport or activity.