Healthy Feet for Healthy Running

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Spring is in the air, and for many runners—from beginners to experienced competitors—that means an increased focus on training, mileage, and performance. But don’t lace up and head out just yet—the American Board of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry (ABMSP) urges runners of all levels to take some simple steps to ensure that their most important pieces of running equipment, their feet, are healthy and protected.

Podiatrists are trained to check wear patterns of running shoes. Their background in biomechanics enables them to watch you walk and run and identify issues that can cause or contribute to injuries.

Spring is in the air, and for many runners—from beginners to experienced competitors—that means an increased focus on training, mileage, and performance. But don’t lace up and head out just yet—the American Board of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry (ABMSP) urges runners of all levels to take some simple steps to ensure that their most important pieces of running equipment, their feet, are healthy and protected.

There’s no doubt that runners’ feet take a pounding, and this makes them vulnerable to a wide range of ailments, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and even stress fractures. Dr. John Coleman, D.P.M., has seen them all. A practicing podiatrist and an avid runner, he frequently volunteers in the medical tent at running races and is well versed in the foot ailments that commonly plague runners who have not taken proper preventive measures. Coleman, who is board-certified in Primary Care in Podiatric Medicine and Foot and Ankle Surgery by the ABMSP, says there are three basic rules for runners to follow before launching a new spring training program that will ensure better foot health for years to come.

1.) Schedule a complete foot exam, and bring your running shoes along for an inspection as well. “Podiatrists are trained to check wear patterns of running shoes,” Coleman said. “Their background in biomechanics enables them to watch you walk and run and identify issues that can cause or contribute to injuries.”

2.) Find the right footwear. “Your podiatrist will assess the need of custom orthotics,” Coleman said. “A runner should also visit a running specialty store, where trained consultants will evaluate your foot type and shoe needs.”

3.) Listen to your feet. A marathon-induced blister is one thing, Coleman said. But sudden pain, persistent soreness, or even skin changes in your feet can be a sign of an underlying condition that could be caused or aggravated by running regimens. Pay attention to your feet and be sure to examine them frequently for visual signs of problems.

About ABMSP
The American Board of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry was originally organized by podiatrists for the purpose of granting board certification to office-based and ambulatory foot surgeons. Incorporated in 1986 as the American Institute of Foot Medicine (AIFM), the name was changed in 1992 to better reflect its mission. The Board now offers certification to qualified podiatrists in all areas of podiatric practice: Primary Care in Podiatric Medicine; Foot and Ankle Surgery, both in a hospital setting and in outpatient facilities; Prevention and Treatment of Diabetic Foot Wounds and Foot Wear; and Limb Preservation and Salvage. The California Board of Medicine, through the California Board of Podiatric Medicine, has authorized diplomates of the American Board of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry to advertise their certification from the Board in the State of California. Also, the Board’s certification examinations have been approved for reimbursement by the VA as an educational benefit for eligible veterans. The American Board of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry is the only podiatric certification program accredited by URAC (formerly the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission) and by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) under the ISO International Standards ANSI/ISO/IEC/17024:2003 for Accreditation for Bodies Operating Certification of Persons. For more information, visit http://www.abmsp.org.

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Bonnie Hayflick

Jenna Webb
The American Board of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry
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