For runners who compete in long distance marathons, achilles tendinitis can affect your performance. It happens when the achilles (the large tendon that connects your two calf muscles to the back of your heel bone) gets inflamed due to too much stress, or sustained weight. Then, over time scar tissue covers the tendon making it less flexible, which can lead to subsequent damages like a tear.
So, preventing and relieving foot pain like achilles tendinitis through strength-training and conditioning, rather than adding more support, can be an effective way to produce stronger feet that are less likely to have problems.
A foot grip is an exercise much like a hand grip. The feet, using an isometric exercise, are contracted as if they are attempting to hold something. It can be done in any position, and when done in conjunction with a healthy eating regimen, can strengthen the foot very quickly. Particularly effective against plantar fasciitis; an overuse injury caused by an imbalance of fascia where the muscles aren’t strong enough to support the load, e.g. your weight distribution.
Indeed. At first you may consider flip-flops as a negative choice for runners, and in some instances you may be correct. But think for a moment what they do: they cause you to grab the shoe with your toes when you step, strengthening your foot grip. Not a bad idea when the weather calls for it.
Bare foot. If you find a nice, grassy hill where the sun is just right and the wind is blowing, take of those shoes and, for about an hour, run some repetitions. Not only will this strengthen your calf (remember how the achilles is connected), you will also work your quadriceps. This will also aid in reducing shin and foot splints due to muscle building.
Wearing high heels is contradictory to what you want to achieve if you are a runner. Not only is it never recommended by any medical professional, it actually shortens the Achilles tendon. But walking around on your tip-toes actually strengthens the muscles in and around the metatarsal heads (the exact spot weakened by high heels). Thus, tiptoeing is a good strength exercise for your foot, and can help ward off debilitating running problems.
Want more information on how we can help with your foot & ankle pain? Feel free to contact our Decatur foot doctor any time.