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Ready to Run? Don’t Forget Your Foot and Ankle Support!


There’s a common misconception that unless you run races of a certain mileage, you are not a runner. That could not be farther from the truth! If you run outside or on a treadmill then you are a runner! Running is simple; you only need a pair of sneakers and you are ready to go. The hardest part is mentally deciding that you are going for a run. People run for multiple reasons. I always enjoyed running because it helps me to clear my mind, but whatever your motivation is, make sure to do it injury-free.

Here are some steps to guide you:

  1. STRETCH. I cannot emphasize this enough. As we age, our bodies start to contract and our muscles get tight. Whether you have a desk job or you are standing all day, your muscles adapt to a certain position, which contract more in one direction, leaving you feeling unbalanced. Therefore you must STRETCH every day. Practicing yoga is a good way to stretch and lengthen your body. When it comes to running - don’t forget to stretch your Achilles tendon! It is important to stretch it daily because when tight, the Achilles can lead to many injuries, including plantar fasciitis and pain on the ball of the foot.  
    • plantar fasciitis - inflammation of the plantar fascia tissue in the feet which is a common cause of heel pain
  2. Know your foot type. No two feet are made the same, not even your own! Take a look at your feet; do you have a low arch or a high arch? Do your toes point in or out when you walk? Any deformities (bunions, hammertoes etc.)? This is important to know and your Podiatrist, who is a foot and ankle specialist, can help you by examining your feet.

       3. Once you know your foot type, get a good pair of sneakers. This is very important and your feet will thank you. You will be amazed at your performance with a good pair of sneakers that matches your foot type. There
         are many   different brands out there and you have to pick the right one for you. Most running stores will allow you to try sneakers for about 1 week and if not 100% satisfied, you can return them (of course they must be in good
         condition so do not run in the rain with them!) Running sneakers should be changed every 400 - 500 miles to ensure they’re still supporting your feet.

  1. Have you suffered from a previous ankle sprain or foot injury that never healed right? If so, you should wear a brace and see your foot & ankle specialist before you start a running regimen. Any specific pain which is not just soreness after a workout can be a sign that something is off and potentially injured.

The foot and ankle work in balance during walking and running. These exercises, aside from expected soreness, should be pain-free. There are 28 bones, 33 joints and over 100 muscles and ligaments in the foot, even more when you include the ankle! These parts all work in sync and support up to 10x your body weight while running.If you experience any specific pain not relieved by rest, you should make an appointment to have it checked out.

Running is one of my favorite hobbies and I hope these steps guide you to get out there and run safely. Never think you can’t run; just put on your sneakers, grab your headphones and go. Happy running! Motion is life!


E. Giannin Perez DPM, FACFAS earned her Medical Degree from the New York College of Podiatric Medicine and completed her Residency at NYCPM / Metropolitan / Lincoln Hospitals.  She is board certified in Foot and Rear-foot /Ankle reconstructive surgery as well as in Podiatric Medicine. She completed her Fellowship in Foot and Ankle Reconstruction /Trauma at Kentucky One Health / University of Louisville, KY.  Dr. Perez is seeing patients at Crystal Run’s Newburgh Locations.