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Foot Pain! What’s Wrong?

Expert Panel Questions???

“12 Days before Marathon, I have had pain on the bottom of my foot (arch area) for about 1 week. I am stressing mentally :) Any suggestions on what I should do would be appreciated.”

“I ran a half marathon the other day. About 12 hours after I finished, the outside of my foot started hurting. It’s the bottom of the foot on the opposite side of the arch. It has not stopped hurting since, especially when I walk. What is this?”

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The short answer to these two questions may be accumulated stress from training at increased intensity and volume of marathon preparation. Damage done to your tissues has exceeded your body’s ability to recover and heal itself. These issues are discussed in “Why does my heel hurt during the power phase of training?” Mechanics out of alignment or a worn-out or improper shoe may exacerbate stresses on the foot. Consider revisiting my article on how to select the correct running shoe.

Regarding why the lateral side of the foot is sore after a run–The short answer here is that you are running on the lateral side of your foot. You may have a cavus (high arch) foot and naturally run on the lateral side of your foot. Running in a stability shoe or using a rigid, high-arch orthotic will make you run more on the lateral side of your foot. Alternatively, you may have a planus (low arch) foot. In this case your shoe may not have enough stability and your posterior tibial tendon may be sore. Your body then tries to protect the posterior tibial tendon by activating the anterior tibial tendon, which inverts the foot and causes you to run on the lateral side of your foot.

Revisit the running shoe article and think hard about what type of foot you have. If pain is not improving, you may have a stress fracture, and you should seek treatment and have an xray.

By Jeffrey Rocco, M.D. Rocco Foot and Ankle Institute 801-644-8795

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Utah Running Expert Answers

Expert Panel Question???

Question: “I have been running pretty consistent for 2 years and now my knees will have slight pain off and on”

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It’s difficult to answer this fully as there are many variables. I’m not sure where your knee pain is located, and under what conditions your knee pain arises? The knees are often the victim to the hip and ankle. Alignment, stride, footwear, core stability and running surface are just a few possibilities. I’d recommend you track more details as to when it occurs related to the run (during, after…), where in the knee it hurts, is there accompanied swelling, and what about other related areas (hip, low back, ankle – same side or opposite)? Possibly stretch after the run and ice your knees; and consider cross training for a change of load to the joints.


Expert Panel Question???

Question: “I’ve noticed about once or twice a mile I nick my left ankle with my right foot (never the other way around). Is this normal, or do I have a serious problem with my running form?”

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I hear this type of comment often, and it is quite normal especially on uneven terrain. Consider running imagining a 2 inch line in the center. Have the inside arch of each foot touch just outside the line, but don’t cross it or step on it. We often have a dominant leg that tends to be under our center. We want good alignment of the hip, knee and ankle.

Answers provided by:

Korryn Wiese – Physical Therapist, CMPT

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Jeffrey J. Rocco, MD – Utah Running Expert

Jeffrey J. Rocco, MD

Dr. Rocco is an orthopedic surgeon specializing Foot and Ankle Reconstruction, and Lower Extremity Trauma.

Dr. Rocco has been practicing in Ogden, Utah since 2006.  He is originally from Akron, Ohio.  Dr. Rocco received his Bachelor of Arts degree with University Honors from Miami University, in Oxford, OH.  In 1994, he received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.  Dr. Rocco completed one and a half years of General Surgery residency at the Maine Medical Center, Portland, Maine before starting a Residency in Orthopedic Surgery.  In 2002 he completed his Orthopedic Surgery Residency at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York, and at Beth Israel Medical Center, New York City.  Dr. Rocco then completed his final year of training with Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Surgery.  This year was spent in Fellowship with Arthur Manoli, II, MD at the Michigan International Foot and Ankle Center, located in Pontiac, Michigan.

Dr. Rocco then returned to Ohio to start his practice in 2003 with the Ohio Orthopedic Center of Excellence, Columbus, Ohio.  Dr. Rocco moved to Ogden, Utah in January, 2006 to enjoy an outdoor lifestyle in the Wasatch Mountains.  Downhill skiing, trail running, road and mountain biking, and Triathlons are just some the activities he pursues in the mountains around Ogden.  Taking a special interest in Endurance Sports Nutrition, he is on the research review board for First Endurance, a sports nutrition company in Salt Lake City, Utah.  His (along with many others’) nutrition articles and contributions can be viewed at http://blog.firstendurance.com/.

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by on Jan.01, 2010, under Utah Running Experts

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