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Posts for tag: running

By Dr. Jeffrey Frederick
May 27, 2014
Category: Sports Injuries
Tags: sports injuries   running  

Runners can Strengthen their feet to Avoid Foot Injuries.The Oak Apple Run will be held in Royal Oak, MI on May 31, and proceeds go to the Boys and Girls Club. All you runners out there: are you ready for this year’s run? Actually the question is, are your feet ready?  With all the training you put in, your feet take a lot of pounding, and if they’re not strong enough to withstand all that impact, the results can be painful. Weak feet can lead to injuries like plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, Achilles tendonitis, and metatarsal fractures. On the flip side, strong feet can reduce pain and injuries, improve your balance, and even make you run faster!  Before you can strengthen your feet, however, you need to know why they’re weak in the first place.

Runners tuck their feet into shoes designed for maximum comfort, cushioning, and stability. With all that protection, your feet never have a chance to gain strength naturally. So how can you strengthen them?  Dr. Jeffrey Frederick of Berkley’s NorthPointe Foot and Ankle offers the following helpful tips.

Lose the shoes!  That’s right, it’s actually recommended that you go barefoot sometimes, so they can get out and sense the ground. While you’re at it, try this simple exercise to add strength: stand on one leg on a balance disc or hop on one leg on a mini trampoline. You can incorporate such exercises into day-to-day activities, too, like while your brushing your teeth or cooking up that pre-race meal.

Another tip?  Stand more and sit less. The more you stay on your feet, the stronger they’ll get. Lastly, integrating plyometrics into your training routine helps condition your feet to withstand the impact that comes with running. Plyometric exercises involve quick direction changes, hopping, jumping, and skipping. Examples include hopping side-to-side or jumping on one leg into a box.

If you want to stay injury-free, and get a personal best at Oak Apple this year, start to strengthen your feet now! Run on over to NorthPointe Foot and Ankle in Berkley, MI for more information, or call (248) 545-0100 to talk with Dr. Jeffrey Frederick today.

Photo Credit: Sura Nualpradid via

By Dr. Jeffrey Frederick
February 28, 2014
Category: Heel Pain
Tags: pain   spurs   heel   running   barefoot   minimalist   therapy  

Sometimes there’s nothing like running around barefoot and enjoying the sensation of the floor or grass underneath your toes. Daisy, the sheltered but sweet protagonist in the new movie Barefoot, agrees. She goes without shoes wherever she can, including some unconventional places. Real-life advocates of the barefoot life say that living shoeless is a more natural state and encourages foot strength. This argument has given rise to the popular minimalist running trend. Of course, this trend does have a few downsides, one being that it can lead to running with heel pain and developing spurs.

Heel spurs result when the plantar fasciitis is tightened and swollen, straining the heel bone. This encourages extra bone growth underneath it, creating a spur. Barefoot and minimalist runners seem to have chronic plantar fasciitis more often, so if you choose to switch to those styles, you need to be careful. Working closely with experienced health specialists like those NorthPointe Foot & Ankle can help you avoid and relieve discomfort from running with heel pain.

Make sure you transition slowly from normal shoes to minimalist running gear. Keep your early runs short and easy, and be prepared for sore legs. You will most likely need time and training to adjust your gait to avoid foot injuries.

If you already have heel pain or spurs, take time to rest and relieve the inflammation. Make sure you ice, massage, and stretch out your soles regularly. Low-impact activities can help you stay active without adding strain to your lower limbs. Once your heels have recovered, you can ease back into running. You may need physical therapy or special training to help you adjust your gait so that it’s better suited to minimalist running.

If you struggle with running with heel pain, but want to be able to enjoy the sport, don’t give up. Contact NorthPointe Foot & Ankle for an appointment or more information to see how we can help relieve your discomfort and set your feet right. Visit the online contact page or call our Berkley office at (248) 545-0100 to reach us.