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Barefoot Runners and “Top of Foot Pain”

Top of the foot pain is common among runners who are just beginning to run barefoot. This is true even for experienced runners who transition to barefoot running. The pain usually follows calf pain and is a signal that running should stop. Running “through the pain” may result in soft tissue injury and torn ligaments.

When wearing shoes, runners have a longer stride and land on their heel. Barefoot runners have shorter strides and land on their toes or mid-foot. The force on the foot and leg is entirely different with a forefoot strike than with a heel strike.

Some specialists recommend barefoot runners work on changing their strike and learn to strike the heel first. Most barefoot runners are unwilling to do this, so they must cut back on their running time and distances and begin training slowly. Start by walking and slowly increase the distance. Progress to running no more than a mile three to four days a week during the first week of training.

Instead of pushing off with the toes, a runner barefoot running should keep the knees bent and concentrate on picking the foot up by lifting the knee. Bring the foot down under the body instead of ahead of it. Concentrate on landing on the middle of the foot, not the toes or the heel.

Getting Professional Treatment

It is always our express intent to recommend that you take no chances with foot pain, ankle or knee pain, or injuries. Professional treatment to relieve the pain is available from doctors such as Delray Beach’s Dr. Ian Goldbaum of Delray Beach Podiatry, who has provided us with this blog. If the pain continues, a podiatrist with Dr. Goldbaum’s experience should be consulted. You must get proper treatment to prevent permanent damage.

Our Staff writers are freelance writers with higher education related to, or experience researching and writing for, medical blogs; with education or experience equal to under graduate and graduate degrees in the fields of medicine.

photo credit: mhs72reunion via photo pin cc – Florida heel pain

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