Spring is a great time to be a runner, especially in the Las Vegas area. There are plenty of places to train and events to look forward to—like the Wild West Cross Country 5k on March 29, 2014. This timed event takes place at Bonnie Springs Ranch and raises money for the Nevada Diabetes Association’s Camp Vegas. After the race, you can enjoy a great petting zoo and games with your family. Of course, you’ll need to train carefully and work to prevent metatarsalgia and other common conditions from taking you out of the race before it starts.

Metatarsalgia, or inflammation in the ball of the foot, develops because of repeated hard impact against the ground. The irritation makes the forefoot sensitive to pressure. It may feel like you are running with a stone in your shoe. Usually the burning or aching pain affects the joints, though it can radiate into the toes or soles of the feet as well. Don’t miss the race because of discomfort—take steps to prevent metatarsalgia in the first place.

Sometimes it can be as simple as replacing worn out running shoes. Make sure your footgear supports your arch, and that the tread is still fairly even. You might need to add orthotics for extra padding or support. Physical therapy exercises to stretch out tightened tissues and strengthen your natural stabilizers can also help. Wall and towel stretches help loosen the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia. Toe spreads, marble pick-ups, and balancing exercises benefit the small but important muscles in your toes.

If you do develop ball of the foot pain, rest your foot and ice the uncomfortable joints to prevent the inflammation from worsening. If it heals quickly, you may still be able to enjoy the Wild West Cross Country 5k. If the pain is persistent, however, don’t ignore it. Contact the experts at Absolute Foot Care Specialists here in Las Vegas for an appointment or more information about how to care for you lower limbs. Fill out the online contact form or call (702) 839-2010 to reach us.

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