Strains, blisters, contractures, 1st degree skin burns, black toenails: here are the five most common running injuries on foot and what to do to treat them.
1. The strain
The first type of injury specific to running that we present to you, the strain is a benign sprain, that is to say a simple distension without tearing or tearing of the ligaments. Above all, it is necessary to freeze the painful part as quickly as possible (example: gel or cold pack wrapped in a towel) in order to minimize the inflammation, deflate the already swollen part and thus relieve the pain. Do this several times a day for up to 15 minutes.
You also need rest (48 to 72 hours) and solicit at least the painful part. Movement must be limited as much as possible, immobilization being essential for faster healing of this injury. A return to running should therefore not be rushed.
You can also apply compression (Elastoplast strips) to reduce inflammation, prevent bruising and support injured ligaments. Don’t wrap your bandage too tightly or cut off blood circulation.
Finally, to promote better blood return in the veins and to limit the accumulation of inflammatory fluid, promote your wound in an elevated position (at least 10 cm above the heart for a real and effective 2 to 3 hours a day).
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2. The bulb
The blister is an injury that you can also encounter if you practice running, is a skin bubble filled with a clear liquid, usually formed as a result of friction. To treat it, you must first pierce it with a sanitized needle in order to remove the liquid inside, without tearing off the loosened skin. Then apply an antiseptic (disinfectant) and drying product (example: Betadine, Hexomedine) and put on a suitable dressing that can prevent the development of the blister, relieve pain quickly and accelerate healing (example: Urgo, Compeed).
Another type of injury known in running, contracture is an involuntary muscular contraction of the muscle, a kind of prolonged cramp but which does not present any lesion. To make it disappear, the best treatment is rest. By resuming running too quickly, you will feel discomfort and above all risk aggravating the injury. You can however, in addition, and for a faster treatment, stretch.
For example, for a calf contracture, you can perform short stretches (6 seconds), 2-3 times, with 30 seconds of recovery in between. Your more relaxed muscle serum. You can also massage the contracture, apply a hot water bottle and an anti-inflammatory ointment (example: Voltarene, Niflugel…).
4. 1st degree skin burns
First-degree skin burns are superficial skin lesions that manifest as simple reddening of the skin. They usually appear in the armpits, the inside of the arms, the crotch or the feet, following repeated friction during your run. Use a fatty dressing (example: tulle gras) to treat the burn.
To avoid this injury, it is possible to adopt a preventive treatment. Before you start your running session, apply an anti-chafing cream or petroleum jelly to the areas at risk.
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5. Black nails
The black nail is a so-called under the nail which is called “subungual hematoma”. This coloration follows a shock to the foot and is often linked to the practice of an endurance sports activity, such as running. Long-distance runners are the most affected by this benign pathology because they sometimes wear shoes that are too tight, too small… in short, unsuitable. When running, the toe experiences pressure and blood collects under the nail. It causes pain. Hence the importance of choosing the right running shoes.
To relieve this pain, clean your nail with a disinfectant then pierce it with a heated needle using a lighter, far enough (one or two holes), in order to evacuate the blood and apply a dry dressing. This operation is completely painless. In the event that the nail is damaged and another forms, do not force the black nail out, it will fall off on its own.
This article reports generic advice. For all these injuries, do not hesitate to make an appointment with a health professional.
Nassima CHABOUNI (holder of a State certificate of sports educator in athletics 1st degree; 3 participations in the French Elite Cross Country Championships)