CLINIC: Racewalking with Flat Feet
Tue, 6 Dec. 2011 - 1:43 a.m. MT
Credit: ARA Staff - American Running Association
QUESTION: As a racewalker my feet take a light but steady pounding—especially during events over 5K. How might I best relieve the resulting soreness? I’ve heard that I should soak my feet at night in hot water; I’ve heard that I should soak my feet at night in cold water. Some say both. What about topical anti-inflammatory ointments? I’m 69 years old, 125 pounds, and 5’ 10”. I have flat feet and wear full-length orthotics, which may compound the issue, I’m not sure. Louis B. Cahall Newburgh, NY
You can use warm soaks; you can use ice baths; you can massage them with or without anti-inflammatory ointment. You may find relief with any of these strategies. However, I suggest purchasing a replacement over-the-counter insert. Spenco Polysorb will probably resolve the problem and eliminate the need to do anything. David M. Davidson, DPM Buffalo, NY
I also suggest you make sure your orthotic devices are not worn out. You may find that they need to be reconditioned often—many people have several pairs. An anti-inflammatory cream may help alleviate soreness in your feet, and will probably keep your skin in good condition too. I recommend ice to reduce immediate inflammation. Soaking in hot water is most likely best as a soothing measure in between races, and not immediately after them. Matt Garoufalis, DPM Chicago, IL (RUNNING & FITNEWS® May / June 2011 • Volume 29, Number 3) DISCLAIMER: The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Please consult your health care provider before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. The American Running Association (ARA) and its Clinic Advisory Board disclaims responsibility and shall have no liability for any consequences suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site. ARA does not endorse specifically any test, treatment, or procedure mentioned on this site.