woman experiencing foot pain from running. She's on a track field examining her foot with a pained look on her face

When you run, your foot needs to absorb a force that’s ~2x your body weight while keeping you stable. Considering all the work it has to do, it’s unsurprising that things can sometimes go wrong, leading to pain. If you’re experiencing foot pain when running, here are the most common potential causes and steps you can take to reduce pain and help the joint heal. 

 

Common causes of foot pain when running

Metatarsalgia 

It is a common overuse injury that starts as a dull ache at the ball of the foot between the second and third metatarsals. If left untreated, this overuse injury may progress into sharp shooting pains.  You may feel numbness or tingling in your toes and pain when flexing your foot.

 

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis involves the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes. This tissue runs along the underside of the foot, so if it’s damaged, you’ll feel the associated stabbing pains there. In most cases, the pain will be at its worst after a long period of rest or standing and subside with activity. 

 

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma involves a thickening of the tissue around one of the nerves leading to your toes. The thickening can cause a sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot and a feeling like you’re stepping on a pebble. You may also experience stinging, burning or numbness in the affected toes. 

 

Tibialis Posterior Tendonitis 

The tibialis posterior tendon connects the muscle in your inner lower leg to your ankle and foot bones. Overuse can cause tiny tears in the tendon tissue, resulting in inflammation and pain. This tendon, along with the posterior tibialis muscle, works hard when you run to support the arch of your foot. The tendon can get especially agitated when running up slopes or uneven surfaces.

 

Fat pad syndrome

Your heel has a pad of fat for cushioning footstrikes. Over time, the pad may slowly wear away, causing bruise-like pain in your heel when you walk, run, or stand for long periods. Old running shoes, poor running mechanics, and an uneven gait can increase your risk of developing this condition.

 

How to treat foot pain from running 

RICE your foot injury

One of the first lines of treatment for pain is RICE. 

  • Rest: taking the pressure off your foot is essential for healing injured tissues. You should avoid activities that aggravate the injury and keep away from running until your doctor gives you the go-ahead.
  • Ice: ice numbs the nerves, taking the edge off the pain. It also narrows the blood vessels, helping to reduce any inflammation that may have popped up due to your injury. 
  • Compression: compression also fights swelling, but unlike ice, it will also help boost circulation - and, by extension, oxygen and nutrient delivery to the injured tissues. Compression can also stimulate the muscles and protect the foot from damaging movements (more on that later)
  • Elevation: Propping your feet above heart level will help drain swollen tissues. 

 

See a specialist

Seeing a specialist, like a physiotherapist or podiatrist, is always a good idea. They’ll be able to help pinpoint the exact cause of your pain and recommend the next steps, like exercises to strengthen and stretch it, supports to manage it, and massage to soothe it. 

 

Supports and insoles for foot pain from running

Bauerfeind ErgoPad Redux Heel 2

ErgoPad Redux Heel 2

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The Redux Heel 2 relieves pain and instability in the foot by regulating your posture and restoring the foot’s natural roll with anatomic shaping. It’s well-suited to relieving symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Its slim design makes it easy to slip into any pair of shoes.

The ViscoSpot Heel Cushion is great for shock absorption in the heel and reducing strain on ligaments and tendons around the foot. 

The MalleoTrain Ankle Brace activates the muscles for improved movement and awareness, boosts circulation, and can alleviate pain from conditions like Morton’s Neuroma and inflammation associated with tendonitis.

And as you get back into running, try out the Sports Performance Socks. Their compression knit fabric will stimulate the muscle and reduce fatigue, while their support zones will protect common problem areas around the foot - like the heel and arches. 

 

Exercises 

The muscles around your feet can become stiff and tense from overuse, making them less effective at protecting your other tissues. Stretching the muscles can help free up space around compressed nerves and tissues, avoid them pulling on agitated tendons, and reduce the risk of experiencing painful spasms. Try some towel scrunches, calf raises, foot flexions and extensions, and calf stretches before and after your run.

 

TO SUM UP

Running puts the foot under a lot of pressure, so it’s unfortunately common for runners to develop foot conditions like plantar fasciitis and heel fat pad syndrome. Fortunately, if you are affected by foot pain from running, there are steps you can take to relieve it and help your foot recover. 

 

More information

If you require assistance selecting the right product for your needs or wearing the brace, call us on 1300 668 466 or contact us via live chat.

Do you have private health? Most private health extras will cover Bauerfeind Products. Check to see if yours is included. Bauerfeind Private Health Insurance Inquiry. 

Bauerfeind was founded in 1929, and since then, we've worked tirelessly to develop and improve our extensive range of braces, insoles, and compression products. Our mission is to provide you with top-of-the-line supports so you can reach your fitness goals or live life without pain holding you back.

Every product is produced entirely in our facilities in Germany with the guidance of doctors, clinics, and orthopaedic technicians.

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