Running the Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest annual marathon, began in 1897

 and is always on Patriots Day.  Originally, ladies were not allowed to enter the Boston Marathon officially until 1972.

This April 16th,  local Highlands County  runners  Peter Lewia, Lawrence  Luepschen, Doug Morton, Tim Topa and Rebecca Schumacher  qualified and ran the Boston Marathon.

The most common foot and ankle-related running injuries include: Qualifying for Boston is a goal and achievement in itself.
As these five runners know, running is a great way to both get and stay healthy. However, without proper precautions, foot and ankle injuries can occur.

Plantar Fasciitis, an inflammation of a fibrous band of tissue in the bottom of the foot that extends from the heel bone to the toes. This tissue can become inflamed for many reasons, most commonly from irritation by placing too much stress (excess running and jumping) on the bottom of the foot.

Stretching  both before and after every run is important.  Wearing supportive running shoes that are appropriate for your foot type, as well as shoe inserts, can also be effective. Make sure to not over-train, gradually increasing how long or far you run. Immediate treatments include icing the area to help with inflammation (several times per day if possible), stretching, and taking OTC anti-inflammatory medication and resting (refraining from running). For further protection, taping, custom foot orthotics, and the use of a night splint may be recommended by your podiatrist.

Achilles Tendonitis is an irritation or inflammation of the large tendon in the back of the lower calf that attaches to the back of the heel.  It is prevented by regular stretching. Shoe inserts such as heel cups and arch supports may also help to correct faulty foot mechanics that can lead to this injury. Ice and OTC anti-inflammatory medications can be taken in the short term. Resting the affected limb is vital for quick recovery.  Your foot doctor may recommend immobilization in more severe cases (such as a walking boot) to allow the area to heal faster.

Morton’s Neuroma  is often described by runners as a burning, stinging pain in the ball of the foot (commonly in the third and fourth toes). Other symptoms include pain in the ball of the foot and a feeling of “pins and needles” and numbness in the toes.  Runners who wear tight-fitting footwear often experience this condition.  Wear proper running shoes that fit well and have a roomy toe box, and do not lace shoes too tightly in the forefoot.  A podiatrist may administer a cortisone injection to provide relief for a Morton’s neuroma, and recommend a wider pair of running footwear. Occasionally, surgical removal of the neuroma is necessary.

Stress Fractures are commonly caused by repetitive forces on the painful area.  Pain and swelling that grows worse over time. Stress fractures can occur over a period of days, weeks, or even months. It is important to modify running equipment or training.  Replace running shoes on a regular basis (about every 400-500 miles).  Like any other fracture in the body and require 8-10 weeks to heal completely. Treatments include complete rest, icing and  immobilization.

Shin Splints affects runners of all ages and are commonly experienced as a shooting pain felt near the front or sides of the tibia bone(the shin  bone). Runners should perform stretches such as toe raises and shin stretches, and replace running shoes.  Shin splints can be treated immediately with ice and anti-inflammatory medications. A podiatrist may also recommend a physical therapy program, as well as testing to determine if inserts could prevent further injury.

This year if your goal is to complete a local 5K or run Boston one day don’t let an injury stop your running routine in its tracks!

Dr. Olga Garcia Luepschen and the Gentle Foot Care Center are located 2 Ryant Blvd (on US27) can be reached 314-9255(walk).  Check us out at


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