Quad Cities, IL/IA

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Get a Foot up on Your Competition!


It’s time to prepare for the upcoming Bix 7 and Ragbrai, so Quad Cities foot experts Dr. Smith and Dr. Buckrop would like to share how to avoid, identify, and treat four of the most common training injuries to make sure you’ll truly perform at your best!

Stress Fractures

We recommend getting a new pair of running shoes every 400 miles and starting your training as early as possible. Try to increase training intensity week by week instead of overcharging yourself. This approach minimizes the risk of stress fractures — tiny cracks in the foot bone that begin with dull pain only while running and can progress to constant tenderness and swelling. Because stress fractures are not visible, any pain or tenderness in your feet should be addresses as soon as possible. Ignoring pain might result in much more serious consequences.


Stress fractures can easily be confused with tendonitis — a condition that causes pain and, occasionally, swelling after exercise. Reduce excessive strain on your tendons by wearing properly fitting shoes and by stretching your feet and ankles prior to every exercise. If you sense tendonitis symptoms, decrease your activity and apply cold compresses. Watch out for recurring or severe pain; it may mean a rupture or tear in the tendon.


Another common injury caused by excessive training is metatarsalgia — an often slowly, yet persistently emerging pain in the ball of the foot. These kind of forefoot injuries are especially common in the bicycle community, because most of the pressure is absorbed by the ball of the foot. You can avoid metatarsalgia by using cleats with a larger platform, insoles with a “metatarsal button,” and shoes that are not too tight.


If you have metatarsalgia and feel the pain spreading across the foot, you might be suffering from bursitis — an irritation of the tendon’s bursa which minimizes frictions of the joints by providing lubrication. Bursitis will require you to take a time-out to rest and treat your feet with ice and anti-inflammatory meds until the irritation of inflammation disappears.

Consistent training and preventing any injuries during your Bix 7 and Ragbrai training is still the best way to success. Please don’t hesitate to contact podiatrists, Dr. Smith and Dr. Buckrop, at www.drsmithdpm.com, or by phone at  309-762-7919, if you have any questions about preparing your feet for the Bix 7 and Ragbrai.