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Jon asked...

Tags: running

I went for a run yesterday and since then I've had pain running down the outside of both feet and worsening when walking, any ideas what it could be and what I can do to get rid of the pain?

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The Answer

Foot pain is a very common problem among runners. There are several kinds, although two of the most common tend to cause pain in different parts of the foot from the area you’re describing. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the tough connective tissue, or fascia, which runs along the sole of your foot. It is common in healthy young people who exercise and tends to cause pain on the sole just in front of the heel.

Metatarsalgia is a pain on the sole of the foot just behind the toes. It’s caused by inflammation of the metatarsal bones in the middle of the foot and is often linked to doing exercise in poorly supportive or poorly cushioned footwear. Pain down the outside of the feet may be due to muscle or possibly ligament strain. It’s unlikely to be due to a significant muscle or ligament tear if the pain didn’t come on suddenly when you were exercising.

However, most muscle strains and ligament sprains are treated in a similar way – for 2-3 days after the injury you should pay the PRICE and avoid HARM. P stands for Protecting from further harm (e.g. avoiding wearing badly fitting shoes); R for Rest; I for Ice (cooling gels can also help); C is for Compression (a tubigrip will often work for feet, and your pharmacist can advise on the right size) and E is for Elevation. You need to avoid H (heat); A (alcohol); R (running) and M (massage) for at least 2 or 3 days.

This combination, along with regular anti-inflammatory tablets such as ibuprofen, should settle most minor strains and sprains. If not, see your GP.

 

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