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Common Running Foot Injuries and Issues

Get information about these foot ailments

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Updated June 14, 2014

Runners put their feet through a lot, so it's no surprise that we end up with foot-related problems. Here are some of the most common foot issues among runners:

Athlete's Foot

Woman applying ointment to foot, cropped
Odilon Dimier/PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections/Getty Images
Athlete's foot is a fungal infection that thrives in damp sweaty places, like between your toes. You can get athlete's foot by touching the affected area on another person. More often, you can pick it up from damp, contaminated surfaces, such as a locker room floor.

Blisters

While not a serious injury, blisters -- those fluid-filled bubbles of skin on your feet -- can be painful and keep you from running.

Black Toenails

Runners, especially those training for long-distance events, can suffer from black toenails, more properly known as subungual hematoma. It is caused by the toes rubbing up against the front of the running shoe, usually because the shoes are too small. The nail is pushed down into the nail bed, and it becomes bruised and inflamed.

Bunions

Bunions are an enlargement of the big toe joint. Under too much pressure, this joint can swell, causing the bone to stick out on the side of the foot.

Burning Feet

Some runners experience burning on the balls of their feet, between their toes, or other areas of their feet. Burning feet while running might be a result of incorrect running shoes or socks, athlete's foot, or other health issues.

Corns

Corns are hard, painful lumps on your feet, and are caused by constant rubbing and pressure from shoes that are too tight.

Numbness

Numbness or a tingling sensation (unrelated to the cold weather) in the toes or foot is a common complaint among runners. Often, the cause is wearing running shoes that are too tight or tying your shoelaces too tight.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is heel pain is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia -- the tough band of tissue that supports the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes.
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