Runners: 6 Ways to Prevent Foot and Ankle Injuries


There are lots of reasons to take up the sport of running. It’s a sport that

  • improves your cardiovascular health

  • helps you stay at a healthy weight

  • helps keep blood glucose levels steady, warding off diabetes

  • improves bone mass, helping to prevent osteoporosis

  • gives you that runner’s high!

At the same time that we acknowledge these awesome health benefits, we also want you to be aware of running’s pitfalls. As podiatrists, Dr. Samantha Boyd, Dr. Hal Ornstein, Dr. Dan Phan, and Dr. Joseph Saka of Affiliated Foot & Ankle Center are most concerned with this one major downside: running puts an enormous amount of stress on your feet and ankles.

What can go wrong

Potential running injuries to the feet and ankles are numerous. They include stress fractures - tiny cracks in bones; metatarsalgia - inflammation in the ball of the foot; sprained ankle - tearing of one or more ligaments that connect the three bones that make up your ankle joint; and plantar fasciitis - heel pain.

But none of these potential injuries should stop you from taking up the sport!

Ways to prevent injury

Seasoned runners and newbies alike should follow these 6 tips to prevent foot and ankle injuries:

  1. Increase mileage slowly. Don’t take on too much too soon.

  2. Wear quality running shoes that fit you well. How do you know what fits well? Have your foot examined by one of our board-certified podiatrists to determine if you’ve got any biomechanical issues such as flat feet or high arches. Then purchase shoes designed to accommodate your particular foot issue.

  3. Replace your running shoes approximately every 400 miles.

  4. Cross-train. For example, lift weights to build muscle.

  5. Take rest days.

  6. See a podiatrist at the first sign of foot pain, before it becomes a big deal.

Our Monmouth County podiatry offices are located in the towns of Howell and Jackson, New Jersey. We’re open late two nights a week and have Saturday hours as well. Visit us online to make an appointment or call us at (732) 905-1110.