Many runners will eventually deal with arch problems, and arch problems cause a lot of pain and eliminate you from competitive running pretty quickly. Here are a few tips to help you deal with arch problems when running.
Don’t be afraid to take time off. This is one of the most important things to remember when you’re dealing with any running injury. You’ll inevitably need a bit of time to heal, so don’t push yourself. When you start feeling arch pain, study how you’ve been running and where you’ve been running.
Don’t run on uneven surfaces, as this can cause serious arch pain, and take a few days off when you begin to experience arch trouble. You can replace your exercise with some other aerobic activity and you’ll be fine. Try biking, swimming, or working out with an elliptical machine, but don’t run for a little while. Your feet will thank you.
Buy good arch supports. You can buy arch supports at just about any retail store in the country, so get a good set. You don’t need to worry about whether the supports have “gel,” or any of those other fancy features; really, you just need something to give your arch a little bit of support. Buy some arch supports for your casual shoes and a separate set for your running shoes. Make sure that you buy arch supports specifically for your gender and activity level-athletic arch supports are different from casual arch supports, and men and women’s feet are a bit different, so it’s a good idea to make a specifc choice.
Stretch. You should already be stretching, especially if you’re running large distances. Add in a few arch stretches if you haven’t been doing so already. Press the tip of your foot against a wall or a tree stump, and slowly add pressure to stretch out your arch. Many hamstring stretches can also help. Everything’s connected when it comes to feet and legs; stretch everything, and you’ll greatly limit the arch pain that you feel while you’re running. Stretch both before and after you exercise.
Pay attention to the pain. Your body doesn’t just hurt for no good reason. It’s trying to tell you something, and if you ignore arch pain, you’re going to run into arch problems that get worse and worse until they’re permanent. Keep track of your arch pain, and don’t run if it’s getting worse. In fact, don’t even walk.
If you’re already wearing arch supports, and you’re still hurting, elevate your feet and apply ice for 20 minutes at a time for about an hour total. Keep stretching, and don’t push yourself. Arch problems are one of the most annoying things that a runner can deal with, but you’ve got a good chance of getting over them if you spend a bit of time paying attention to your pain and giving your arches exactly what they need-rest and help healing.