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

ANSWER:
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


ANSWER:
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)
 
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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.

 



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