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Dr. Harvey R. Danciger

Is running on blacktop bad for your feet/legs?


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1/12/2013
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Has running on pavement been causing your feet and legs significant pain? Whether you’re an avid runner or just starting to develop a running routine, running on blacktop can cause damage to your foot and leg joints, which can result in chronic pain. Why does this happen? When you run on hard surfaces, your feet take on the shock that is absorbed with each and every strike. Repetitive running on pavement can then cause pressure on your foot and leg muscles that result in inflammation and shin splints or heel pain that you may be experiencing.

Although running on blacktop in general increases your risk for foot pain and other complications, there are other factors that can create these problems from running on hard surfaces, which include:

  • Your footwear. Flat or thin shoes that don’t provide enough support and cushion for your feet while you run will put extra pressure on your feet when they hit the ground.
  • Uneven surfaces. Cambered roads, or those that have a steep incline or decline, can cause shin splints and other pressure related pain.
  • Your stride. An uneven running gait can negatively affect your foot and leg muscles and even cause knee problems as well.

Running is a great form of exercise and though pavement running can create foot pain, that doesn’t mean you should stop running altogether. There are ways in which you can protect yourself from pain. Podiatrist Harvey Danciger recommends following these tips to ensure your feet are always ready for a great run.

  • Invest in proper running shoes. A pair of running shoes that are fit to your foot shape, and are designed with extra support for pavement running, will keep you from having to ice and recover each time you are left in pain.
  • Take a break from the blacktop. Try running on trails or grass to switch up your running routine and to give your feet a break from the impact pressure that pavement causes.
  • Contact our office. If you’ve been experiencing chronic and consistent foot pain from running, call our office to set up an appointment with Dr. Danciger to evaluate your condition.  He can help provide you with the right treatment to have you running pain-free once again!


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Dr. Harvey Danciger
Dr. Harvey Danciger is a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Palm Desert, CA specializing in the foot and ankle

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