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Posts for category: Arthritis

By Dr. Michael Stein and Zeindelin Ahmad, DPM
November 10, 2014
Category: Arthritis

Grabbing water at a marathonThanks to the gorgeous weather, varied terrain, and massive population, the Bay Area is a magnet for road and trail races year-round. This Saturday, for example, marks the Mt. Tam Trail Run in Marin County just north of San Francisco. Runners start at the beach, climb to the top of Mt. Tamalpais, and descend back down beautiful trails over the incredible 50K course.

Even if you have no interest in ever competing, recreational running is gaining in popularity among all age groups for its physical and mental health benefits. If you’re struggling with arthritis, however, running pain-free can be a challenge. Here are some tips to help keep you going and run with ankle arthritis:

Cross train. You don’t have to give up running, but start mixing low-impact activities into your routine to give your aching joints a rest. Go for a bike ride. Take a dip in the pool. At the gym, try an elliptical. Maintaining your fitness in ways that don’t punish your ankles a few days per week can leave you stronger for when you do go for that run.

Limber up. Strength training, stretching, and flexibility exercises (try yoga!) improve your range of motion, stabilize joints, and improve balance. Focusing on these areas can slow the rate that joints wear and tear.

Don’t pound the pavement. Softer surfaces like grass, dirt paths, and trails (provided the terrain isn’t too difficult for your health or experience level) absorb more of the impact of your steps than pavement, which sends that force back up your feet and legs. Try getting out to the park or the trail at least occasionally, rather than sticking to sidewalks. Even treadmills can be a good lower-impact alternative.

Listen to your body. Don’t get too caught up in numbers—how much distance you “should” be covering or what kind of pace you “should” be maintaining. Adjust in the moment based on your needs, and don’t push yourself too hard if you’re feeling pain.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re finding it difficult to run with ankle arthritis, stay active, or do the things you enjoy due to chronic foot, ankle, or joint pain, call Foot Doctor of the East Bay at (510) 483-3390. From stretching exercises and physical therapy to fitting custom orthotics, surgery, and more, our experts are dedicated to keeping you on your feet and living pain-free.

Photo credit: Sura Nualpradid via freedigitalphotos.net



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