Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

Why seeing a podiatrist is a good idea before you get into running

According to HCF claims data, there is a rapid increase in people going to the podiatrist in summer compared to winter due to injurie. In fact, there was a 173 per cent increase in members claiming for podiatry services last January (2022) compared with August 2021. This is a regular trend as it was up 148 per cent the summer before, and 168 per cent the summer before that. 

This suggests that many Australians are seeking out podiatrists only after injury has occurred, however did you know that with preventative measures, a lot of the injuries associated with running and sport can be avoided?

We spoke with Sarah Sweeney, who is a leading Australian podiatrist about the top things that people miss when they take up running that can lead to injury.

A podiatrist can help you individualise your running prep

So, you have decided to start running. You have scheduled it into your week, you know the track where you are planning to run, perhaps you even have a running program to help you prepare for a running event. However, have you considered getting your feet and your gait checked to ensure that you have the right support to avoid injury?

Seeing a podiatrist before getting into running or any type of sport is a great way to help you reduce your chance of injury, aches, pain and niggles. A podiatrist will be able to perform a biomechanical assessment on you which will review your foot structure, your gait, any muscle weakness or tightness, joint range of motion or hypermobility as well as any overloading of your lower limb. By having this information, they can then recommend the right type of shoes for you, they can prescribe orthotics for you or give you a strengthening and stretching program or they can help you re-train your gait if needed. 

Having this information can greatly improve your run while also reducing the risk of injury.

According to HCF’s data, 51% of Australians who own sports shoes say they only replace them once they start to fall apart. This means that they may be using shoes for months that are not correctly supporting their feet and ankles. 

A podiatrist can help you not only choose the right shoe based on your foot and activity, but they can also let you know all the tips for preventing injuries. One of the easiest tips is to replace your sports shoes around every 500-700kms that you do. Depending on how active you are, that would be every 3-12 months. 

Blisters, calluses and toenails

Injuries and aches are not the only thing that can cause you pain as a runner. Booking in to see a podiatrist before taking up running or before a big running event can help prevent the additional issues that you may encounter such as blistering, ingrown toenails and trauma to your nail. 

Blisters will often occur if you have callused skin. A podiatrist can shave off the calluses to prevent blistering. A podiatrist can also cut your toenails correctly to help prevent ingrown toenails. 

HCF and their podiatry service 

Eligible HCF members may be able to get 100% back on their initial consult with a podiatrist in our network through the More for Feet program.

By Sarah Sweeney, podiatrist and expert for HCF