CLINIC: Seeking Sore Foot Relief
Wed, 22 Feb. 2012 - 6:29 p.m. MT
Credit: ARA Staff - American Running Association
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. German Muniz Shickshinny, PA
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
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
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