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  • Writer's pictureMSK Doctors

Causes of Foot Pain in Runners

Updated: Nov 9, 2022

Foot pains are amongst one of the most common issues in both novice and advanced runners. There are multiple reasons as to why runners may experience foot pain and it is important to understand that feet come in all shapes and sizes, where each runner may develop different symptoms depending on their unique body types and exercise styles. Here we will dive into one of the most common foot-related conditions that runners may experience.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis develops slowly over time but when it occurs, it can be very painful. This occurs when the tissues connecting from your heel to your toes become inflamed. This once again is a big signification of an abnormal or a defected gait pattern which results in excessive force or stress while running. Other causes include footwear with poor support, obesity, and arthritis. If you start experiencing symptoms such as arch pain, heel pain or a stabbing sensation in the arch of your foot, it is highly recommended to see one of our orthopaedic consultants.

Stress Fracture

One of the most common injuries related to runners is a stress fracture, which results in small cracks in a bone or deep bruising. This occurs due to muscle fatigue in your foot, which ultimately causes too much stress to the bone. Other causes include repetitive movements, improper technique or insufficient bone strength and density. If you start experiencing symptoms such as tenderness to the area or swelling at the top of the foot, it is highly recommended to see one of our consultants, where we could analyse your gait and potentially refer you for an MRI scan to get a better insight into your condition.

Fat Pad Syndrome

Fat Pad Syndrome is similar to Plantar Fasciitis, however the pain centres solely around the middle of the heel. The role of the fat pad is to absorb forces during movement and an improper gait, or the inflammation of the fat pad may cause severe pain. If you start experiencing symptoms such as difficulty walking on hard surfaces or if you start to notice or feel bruising on your heel, it is highly recommended to see one of our consultants.

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