All long-distance runners have been there. After a long race or run, your feet are sore, swollen, and desperately need TLC.
Just as you must prepare for a long run properly, you must take the proper steps to help your feet recover after putting them through stress. Here are five ways to treat your feet after a long run.
Mend Your Blisters
When you get a blister, make sure you clean it well and as soon as possible. The sooner you address a blister, the more likely it will heal quickly and correctly.
Once it’s clean, apply a pad to cushion and protect the affected area. Most blisters will heal on their own, given time. However, if you must, pop the blister yourself with a sterile needle.
Once you’ve drained the blister, clean and cover it with antiseptic and a padded bandage. When you drain your blister, leave the skin on top intact. This skin acts as a natural, protective covering for the fresh skin underneath the blister.
Cool Your Feet Down
So, you’ve just run a marathon, and your feet are swollen and achy. What do you do? You soak them, of course! Soaking them in cold water helps constrict blood vessels and muscle fibers, thus, reducing swelling and the soreness associated with that.
Simply fill your bathtub or a container with cool water and ice, ensuring that the water is deep enough to submerge your feet completely. You should soak them for about ten minutes
Do you need some extra help to reduce swelling? You can add Epsom salts to your water. However, be careful about how often you use Epsom salts because although they help reduce swelling, too much exposure to them can dry out your skin.
If you don’t have the necessary items to soak your feet, or you don’t want to soak your feet, try elevating them while applying ice packs.
Make Sure You Moisturize
After you shower, dry your feet until they are damp. Then, moisturize them with a cream. By moisturizing directly after you shower, you will help your feet retain some of the water, which will rehydrate your skin.
Keeping your feet hydrated will help prevent blisters and heel fissures (heel cracks resulting from dry skin).
Massage Your Feet
If you’re suffering from acute soreness, a nice massage will help immensely. You can either do this yourself or get a professional to help. If you go to a professional, ask for a light massage rather than a deep-tissue massage.
When massaging your own feet, you can utilize foot-specific rollers, a lacrosse ball, or a frozen water bottle, as each is just the right size to fit in the arch of your foot. Make sure you don’t press too hard on the rollers, ball, or water bottle. You want it to be a gentle massage.
Identify and Treat Foot Injuries
Persisting pain or discomfort should never be ignored. Take five to seven days off from training when you have pain or discomfort that doesn’t go away. Ice the afflicted area three times a day for ten to fifteen minutes. You should also wear supportive shoes, so your feet have less to compensate for.
If the symptoms persist after the five-to-seven-day period, think about seeing a podiatrist. You should see a podiatrist, especially if there is swelling and redness, as those could indicate a more severe problem, like a stress fracture.
Running while you’re injured will only cause more issues for you. Your foot will try and compensate for the injury. Eventually, your risk not only worsening the initial injury but creating new ones as well.
Take Care of Your Feet at The Foot & Ankle Center
If you’re a runner, you know just how important it is to keep your feet healthy. Poor foot hygiene and care can take you out of commission for months if you’re not careful.
Think about seeing a trusted podiatrist if you are experiencing prolonged pain, swelling, and/or redness.
At The Foot & Ankle Center, we can help heal various injuries and ailments that affect your feet. Our goal is to ensure you’re up and running as soon as possible.
So, what are you waiting for? Schedule an appointment today, so you can hit the ground running tomorrow.