• Cold Feet: Should You Ice Your Feet After Running?

    by Dr. LaMour
    on Sep 30th, 2015

Just finish a long run and want your feet to feel a little love and special treatment? Many runners find that their feet become swollen, achy, and fatigued and that an ice bath is the perfect cure for their feet to feel better and recover more quickly. But there’s some debate surrounding the practice – some say icing your feet after a run is a good idea, while others think it’s not. Regardless of which side you’re on, if you follow these tips you’ll be sure to get the most out of the chilly treatment without risking the health of your feet!

Why Ice / Cold Works for Runners’ Feet

After strenuous or repetitive exercise, it’s normal for the muscle fibers in your feet to experience small tears and soreness. Exposing your feet to cold temperatures helps constrict the blood vessels and muscle fibers, which reduces swelling and eases soreness. To prepare an ice bath, add enough water to a container to submerge your feet in, then add ice until the temperature is between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It may be a little chilly…but you can do it!

Icing Your Feet – Do’s and Don’ts for Runners

DO: Ice Your Feet Immediately After A Run

The sooner you treat your feet to an ice bath after you finish a run, the faster the treatment can begin to decrease swelling and start the healing process.

 DON’T: Ice Your Feet Before Running

Since ice numbs your feet, a pre-run icing could leave you unable to feel the same sensations you normally do when running, and could be hazardous to your coordination. This can cause you to alter your running stride, and put you at greater risk for injury. If your muscles are tight or sore before a run, applying heat can help loosen them up.

DO: Adjust The Temperature To Your Own ‘Cold Threshold’
Experts recommend that an ice bath should be between 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, however, therapeutic benefits can still be achieved with cool water up to a temperature of 75 degrees. Test your tolerance with slightly warmer water and adjust as you get more accustomed to the practice.

DON’T: Soak for More Than 20 Minutes

Once you’ve found the right temperature, don’t submerge your feet in an ice bath for extended periods of time, no matter how comfortable it may get… 10 to 20 minutes is just enough time to feel the benefits without the risk of frostbite.

Other Options For Soothing Feet With Cold

Ice baths aren’t the only options for using cold temperatures to treat your feet after a run. These ideas can be just as effective:

If you’re a runner who’s tried icing your feet but are still experiencing pain and swelling, maybe it’s time you get a professional opinion. Schedule an appointment with us today so we can help you get your stride back!

Original Source: http://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/cold-feet-should-you-ice-your-feet-after-running/

Author Dr. LaMour

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