Tag Archives: running

High Blood Pressure? Treat Hypertension with Running

Has your doctor diagnosed you with hypertension (high blood pressure) and recommended exercise? An easy, inexpensive way to get your body moving is running. As a passionate marathoner who personally has experienced the health benefits of running, Dr. Alan Boehm shares his tips on how to begin a successful running program to get your health back on track. Read his article here.

Sports Medicine: Stay in the Game

Sports Medicine can help everyone from gym class heroes to Superbowl stars. Check out Dr. Kirk Woelffer’s tips on how to keep athletes of all ages in the game. He shares great, non-invasive podiatry treatments including custom orthotics and Shockwave which can help you get back on your feet quickly. To read the article, click here.

Winter Weather Tips

Winter weather is here in the Triangle… according to the Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center here are five things you need to do to protect your feet and ankles.

1) Wear stable footwear to avoid twisting your ankle or rolling your foot. “When there’s ice, slush and snow, put away your high heels and wear flat footwear,” said podiatrist Dr. Alan Boehm. “And when it comes to stability, lace-up shoes are better than slip-ons.”

2) Don’t try to get multiple seasons out of your kids’ boots by buying them too big so they can ‘grow into them’—footwear must be the right fit today. Kids love playing outside during winter weather, so make sure their feet are safe by putting them in stable boots that are the right size. If the boots are too big, kids’ feet slide, rub and get blisters. Additionally, if their feet are not stable inside the boots, kids can twist their feet or ankles which can lead to injury.

3) Runners can continue to train outdoors when it’s cold with extra precautions. Triathlete and podiatrist Dr. Alan Boehm said, “If it’s icy be careful so you don’t slip and injure your ankle. If you do decide to run outdoors just make sure you have the right gear… get a pair of grippers for your running shoes like Yaktrax which are designed for exercising in the ice and snow.”

4) “Don’t forget the big picture,” said podiatrist Dr. Kirk Woelffer. “Wearing footwear with traction is good, staying low to the ground is good, but don’t forget the big things such as holding onto the door when exiting vehicles (don’t assume you can jump out). And minimize the number of times you need to walk outside on sidewalks and parking lots. The goal during winter days in the Triangle is to be extra careful on that one day. The slush and ice will be gone in a day or two. Just don’t make a big mistake on the one or two days we have the bad weather that can sideline you for months.”

5) Finally, look out for your older family members and neighbors. “They are the ones who are going to try to get their mail and newspaper on that one day we get snow and ice in the Triangle,” said Dr. Woelffer. “You don’t need an ambulance picking up Mr. Johnson when you could have taken his paper from the driveway and run it up to his porch. Grab the mail and walk it up to his front door. Let’s keep our elderly safe from slips and falls.”

The Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center has professional, board-certified physicians and surgeons on staff to competently and compassionately care for all your foot and ankle needs in two Triangle locations. To request an appointment, click here.

Why Do I Like Running?

I, like so many of you reading this, enjoy running. It’s a great way to stay in shape, it can be a great social experience, and I think there is no better way to explore a new city. I want to share just such an experience I had on a run through Rome vacationing with my family.

I looked at a map to get a general idea of the area I wanted to cover then I walked out of the hotel lobby and hit the cobblestone streets running as I made my way toward the Spanish Steps. From there, I headed to the river, or Fiume Tevere. There was a running path just about level with the river, and I got on that path, one level below the city. What a view from the river of Roman history as I ran along that path. There were not many runners crowding the path and the sunny warm weather was perfect. I had my Garmin running because I had a distance in mind, but no time goal and wanted the sites of the city to guide my run. I had a map that I loosely followed.

I ran along the river for a few miles and took in the grandeur of the Castel Sant’Angelo, among other historic structures and surfaces. Stretching out in front of me was the sprawling Circus Maximus where the Romans held great chariot races. As I continued, I took in the Arch of Constantino and of course the breathtaking Colosseum! As I headed back to the hotel, I saw the beautiful Altar of the Fatherland and ran by the Trevi Fountain, which unfortunately was undergoing some restoration. It was then back to the hotel to get cleaned up and meet up with my family for some official touring activities. It was an amazing trip, but that run was unbelievable, one that I will reflect on for years to come.

Gear Up for Running Outdoors This Winter

Gear up for running outdoors this winter. You may be wondering, how will I run in the brutal cold of North Carolina winters?! Maybe the use of the word “brutal” is a bit out of place, but still never underestimate the cold and what it can do to your body. Use these tips to make sure your feet, and the rest of you, are prepared to battle the elements.

Let’s get started with what we like to discuss the most, your feet! To keep your feet warm we recommend using shoes with the least amount of slush. Ideally, the uppers of the shoe will also have GoreTex lining to help keep out the slush. SmartWool socks are also very important to help wick away sweat but hold in as much warmth as possible. You don’t want to get blisters! You should also have some common sense: if there is snow and ice on the ground, maybe run on the treadmill that day instead. One misstep and a slip on the ice could result in a sprained ankle or worse!

Your innermost layer needs to be snug fitting and sweat-wicking. Outer layers should be waterproof, windproof, and be able to cool as well as you get further into your run and your body starts to warm up. Make sure to always protect your face, head, and extremities with layers. Generally, many expert running guides recommend at least 2 top and one bottom layer for 30 degree temperatures, 2 tops and 2 bottoms for 10 to 20 degree temperatures, and 3 tops and 2 bottoms for zero to 10 degree temperatures. If you are in North Carolina running in temperatures below zero, then you deserve to wear as many layers as you want, and a medal for dedication!

It’s also important to warm up well before you run. You need to get moving and get the blood flowing so the cold won’t feel quite as cold, and your body will be more prepared for your run with less chance of injury. Don’t forget you still need to layer to deal with wind and rain, and also make sure to wear bright clothes so you can be seen!

Don’t focus on training to push yourself for record times, but instead focus on the fact that you are staying motivated and still training against the elements and keeping your endurance up. And most important of all, listen to your body. If you start to tire or feel exhausted, take a break. Pushing yourself too hard can cause injury like sprained ankles or Achilles tendinitis. Run safe during the winter months, and come see us at Raleigh Foot and Ankle Center if you are having any foot or ankle pain! Call us at (919) 850-9111 or visit our website to request an appointment.

Get Out and Run!

Most people start working out during January after making New Years Resolutions, but December is the perfect time to start some great, healthy habits like exercising regularly. Think about it: the holidays can be hectic and stressful; what better way to relive some of that tension than by going out for a run? And while we’re at it, exercise is a great way to balance out all of those extra calories we all eat over the holidays.

If you decide you want to start running, the first thing to remember is to take it slow! Always start each run with a walk to warm up your muscles. This is especially important during cold weather. You want to keep your muscles warm and loose to prevent injury during exercise. If you get fatigued during your run, slow down and walk for a few minutes. You aren’t going to run a half marathon on your first run. Pushing yourself too hard too quickly can result in injury, so be careful!

To protect your feet while you run, wear good, supportive running shoes. But what is a good shoe? For starters, the shoe will fit properly. You don’t want your shoes to be too tight in the toes. No one wants painful blisters! If you can, go to a specialty running or shoe store with an onsite pedorthist and make sure you get the right fit. Some people find that custom-fabricated orthotics help relieve pain in their feet during runs.

The bottom line for beginning runners is to take it easy, take it slow, and listen to your body. You should especially listen to your feet! If you ever experience foot pain while exercising, stop immediately. If you continue to run, thinking the pain will go away, you can make things a lot worse. You can always call the doctors at Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center if you experience any pain in your feet or ankles. Our doctors are active themselves – some play basketball, some play hockey, and one of them is even a triathlete! We’re always here to help you with your foot pain. Call us at (919) 850-9111 or visit our website to make an appointment today.

Happy running!

Bunions: Not a Runner’s Problem Anymore

Running with bunions is possible if you properly care for your feet!

What a Pain

Painful bunions can be a problem for anyone, but runners can really struggle with discomfort due to bunions while trying to get in their miles. The good news is that there are things that can help alleviate the discomfort and keep you running. If discomfort cannot be alleviated, it may be time to see a foot doctor, and we are here to help.

If the Shoe Fits…It Makes All the Difference

Probably the most important aspect of minimizing bunion pain is proper shoe fit. A bunion is a prominence at the big toe joint of the foot. As a bunion develops, shoes may start to rub the side of the foot, causing pain and redness. It is important to head to a running store for your next pair of shoes if this is the case. Having a professional fit you for a properly fitting running shoe can make a huge impact on running pain free.

Pad Your Feet for Extra Pain Relief

There are also a number of pads that can be used to protect the foot from rubbing in shoe gear, as well as toe spacers to help realign the big toe. These devices can help, but only if used consistently. Existing shoes can also be taken to a shoe repair store or pedorthic facility for modification to stretch or split the shoe, to provide more room in the toe box. Anti-inflammatory medicines and pain creams can be helpful in reducing pain. (Before you start taking medicines, however, consult a doctor to see what move is best for you.)

We’re Here for You

If, despite all best efforts you continue to have pain, it’s time to visit a podiatrist. We at Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center are here to keep you active and pain free. Make an appointment today and let us develop a plan to allow you to keep logging those miles!

To schedule your appointment, call us at (919) 850-9111 or visit our website to Request an Appointment.

The Best Shoe for Your Feet

How to choose the right shoes for your feet

My patients often ask me which is the best running shoe. That is a tough question for me to answer, because as a runner I have my personal preferences. Put enough miles on a shoe, and you will know what I’m talking about. All shoe brands for the most part offer cushioning shoes as well as stability shoes. The key is to get some guidance in how to choose the right shoe.

If you are serious about running and taking care of your feet so you can keep on running, I have some advice. See a foot doctor if you are having foot problems and consider visiting a specialty running store for your next running shoe purchase. It will take trying on a few different pairs of shoes to discover which is the best fit, and fit is key.

Keep in mind that a good shoe does not always equal a high price tag. Too often I hear patients talking about how they don’t buy cheap shoes and always get the more expensive models. Proper fit and the right shoe for your feet is most important; that can be found at many different price points.

Another important point to consider is that running shoes do have a lifespan. Consistent running puts a lot of wear and tear on your shoes. The average shoe lifespan is considered to be 300-500 miles. That being said, use your running shoes for just that: running. Don’t wear them for a 10K on Saturday and then to the mall on Sunday. They will wear out twice as fast. When shoes start to wear out and they continue to be worn, injuries can happen. If that happens, give us a call. Happy running!


It’s important to make sure your feet are well-cared for when you run. To learn more about how to take care of your feet while you run, check out this month’s newsletter.

At the first sign of foot and ankle pain or problems, stop and visit a podiatrist. To schedule an appointment with one of the podiatrists at Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center, call our office at (919) 850-9111 or use our online Request an Appointment form. We serve patients from Raleigh, Cary and Wake Forest in Wake County, NC and surrounding communities in and around the Raleigh-Durham Area and the rest of North Carolina. Hablamos Español.

Run a Little – It Feels Good!

Running for exercise is, mostly, very good for us. Increasing heart rate, building stronger muscles and bones, and releasing endorphins are all things that keep us fit. The best news of all? ANY kind of running is good!! You don’t need to run wind sprints or complete marathons, you just need to get your body parts moving a tick faster than usual. Fast walking, jogging, or just periodic running during a walk will all increase your fitness level. And guess what? It’ll feel good, too!

So, run a little. Your body, and mind, will thank you.

Make sure you take care of your feet when you run!

It’s important to make sure your feet are well-cared for when you run. To learn more about how to take care of your feet while you run, check out this month’s newsletter.

At the first sign of foot and ankle pain or problems, stop and visit a podiatrist. To schedule an appointment with one of the podiatrists at Raleigh Foot & Ankle Center, call our office at (919) 850-9111 or use our online Request an Appointment form. We serve patients from Raleigh, Cary and Wake Forest in Wake County, NC and surrounding communities in and around the Raleigh-Durham Area and the rest of North Carolina. Hablamos Español.

Runner’s Toenails

Running feet in fall


You wake up before the sun is up, toe the line, the gun fires, and you start that race you have been training months for.

The weather is perfect.  The crowds cheer you on, and you cross the finish with a big smile or possibly a tear in your eye as emotion overtakes you. Maybe it’s your first race or your 50th, but nothing beats that feeling of crossing the line with friends and strangers cheering you on in rock star fashion!

You celebrate and get a much deserved night’s rest. You awake the next morning with that continued feeling of accomplishment, a little sore, and then you look down at your feet. Aaaahhhhhhhhh! What is going on in the toenail department?

“Runner’s toe” has stricken! That black and blue toenail situation that might also have your toenail lifting from the bed. Must runners, especially distance runners, have experienced or are familiar with the condition. Make sure your shoe is the appropriate size and fit. If your toenail is not painful, no treatment is necessary, but keep in mind: you might lose the toenail. If it is painful or you see signs of infection, get your foot checked by a podiatrist. We treat lots of runners with toenail problems and will do everything we can to keep you running. Cheers!