Foot pain is not uncommon in runners. Your feet absorb approximately three times your weight with each foot strike. For the average runner, the journey down Peachtree Road takes approximately 9,300 of those steps. That adds up to a lot of stress on your muscles, tendons, bones and joints.
Most foot and leg discomfort that occurs from running is usually minor and can be prevented with proper footwear and good training. When aches and pains do occur, they can often be self-treated, allowing you to continue your training for the coveted AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt.
Blisters: Blisters result from friction to the skin that causes fluid to collect underneath it. This can be due to poorly fitting shoes or from excessive moisture on the foot.
If you do develop a blister, it can usually be self-treated by cleansing the skin and making a small hole in the blister with a clean needle to drain the fluid or blood. Once the fluid is drained, leave the skin on top intact, apply an antiseptic and cover the area to keep it clean.
To prevent blisters, wear socks made from synthetic fibers to wick away moisture (no cotton!) and do your best to avoid running through puddles of water as you make your way down Peachtree Road.
Bruised Toes (BlackToes): Bruised toes most often occur as a result of wearing shoes that are too small. This causes the toenail to hit the front of the shoe, allowing fluid or blood to accumulate under the nail.
If the discoloration is not painful, no treatment is necessary; however, if painful, the fluid should be drained, usually by a medical professional.
The best prevention for bruised toenails is to make sure your running shoes fit correctly. An experienced athletic shoe salesperson can help you in selecting a shoe that fits well and is appropriate for your foot type and running style.
Muscle and Tendon Soreness: It is normal for your legs and feet to ache after running and other forms of exercise. The use of ice over the tender area for 15 minutes a few times a day can help in relieving this soreness. An easy way to apply ice is to purchase a bag of frozen peas or corn that you can mold over the injured area.
The care you give your feet while preparing for the AJC Peachtree Road Race will pay great dividends as you cross the finish line in Piedmont Park.
Perry Julien, D.P.M.
Assistant Medical Director, Peachtree Road Race