The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Warm Ups and Solid Shoes: How To Return To Exercise When You Have Foot Pain

Posted by on Friday, October 25th, 2013


Podiatrists often see patients who are eager to begin or resume an exercise program, but feel stymied by foot pain. It’s always best to consult a doctor when you plan to ramp up your physical activity. A sudden boost in activity level increases your risk of stress fractures, tendon injuries, and heel pain, so it’s best to develop a program that gradually increases the intensity and duration of whatever exercise you choose to do.

Warm Up.

Stretching may not be the magic bullet for injury prevention, as we once thought. Yet, we find that a warm up — which may include stretching or just a slow jog — does, in fact, decrease the risk of muscle cramping, tendonitis, micro-tears, and injuries to the calves, shins, and hamstrings.

finding good shoes
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Buy Good Shoes.

“Good shoes” doesn’t necessarily mean “the most expensive shoes.” You want to find a shoe that has what your anatomy demands, since feet come in all different shapes, sizes and quirks. Generally speaking, a good shoe will not fold in half. The sole should only bend in the toe. A good shoe will have a roomy toe-box and give you a thumb’s width of space between the longest toe and the end of the shoe. Look for shoes with cushioning in places where blisters are most likely to form.

Ask A Professional For Advice.

Professionals can point you to the right shoe type. A podiatrist can assess your feet and give you customized recommendations, as a person with high arches will not want to wear the same shoe as a person with flat feet. Pronation and past history of foot pain can also affect shoe choice. In some cases, we fit patients with custom orthotics that have been specially molded to their feet for a more comfortable fit. This is a great solution for people who experience foot pain in the arch, heel, and ankle.

Don’t Forget Basic At-Home Treatments For Foot Pain.

Ibuprofen can go a long way if you’re suffering from aches and pains in your feet. Podiatrists can give you a cortisone injection if you have been suffering from severe, prolonged inflammation, and pain. We recommend using ice packs for 20 minutes at a time and getting your feet elevated to reduce swelling and pain as well. Rest days are important, so try to limit strenuous activity to every-other-day to avoid injury. Bandage wraps during workouts and foot soaks following exercise are ideal at-home treatments for soft tissue injuries like subungal hematomas. Take care of your feet, and they will thank you.


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.