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What to do if your feet hurt while running

It doesn’t matter if you are an avid runner, just starting out, training for a marathon, or running for leisure to blow off stress. If it hurts to run, you need to figure out why and do something about it.

While you are healing, don’t worry, you can still find a workout that isn’t painful or harmful to your injury, but remember to never overdo it and always talk with our doctors to know your limits to avoid a more extensive injury. 

One Man Running

What is Triggering Your Pain?

The first thing to do when experiencing pain when running is to figure out exactly where the pain is and what is triggering it.

Plantar fasciitis, which is heel pain, is very common and hurts when putting pressure on the heel. This injury requires plenty of rest and other treatment options if needed. 

Once you start experiencing pain, see our top foot and ankle doctor in Phoenix for a diagnosis and treatment plan. Most treatment plans start out with plenty of rest, ice applications, elevation, the use of custom foot orthotics, physical therapy, laser treatments, or even surgery. 

Patients need to be patient and understand that your injury will take time to heal. Every injury and body is different so the timeline is going to be different for everyone. While being patient, be consistent with therapy.

Continue Cardio

After you figure out the cause of your pain, it is time to rest! You can still choose from some cardio options while you are healing. 

Swimming is easy on the joints and even aqua jogging is a good option. Not only will this get your heart rate up, but it is also a good form of physical therapy to help your injury heal faster. 

Cycling also boosts the heart rate with low impact and can be a form of strength training. This form of cardio uses different muscles than running, so it can really help balance the body. 

The elliptical at your local gym can also be used for cardio. It gives the same feel on your feet as walking and running. Using the elliptical is great for your muscles, while also being low impact and is the closest thing to running. 

After Treatment

After following your treatment plan to a tee and you are all healed, now what?

Start running slowly and only with approval. Never rush back into extreme physical activity.

If you do start running too fast and too hard after an injury, you could suffer from a re-injury causing even more damage. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.


Dr. Kris Dinucci