Does callus reduction reduce your risk or decrease the risk that you’re going to get a plantar plate sprain? Well, that’s what we’re talking about today on the Doc On The Run Podcast.
You may have recently checked out the episode that I did on the three callus patterns that I see in runners that actually tell me right away that they’re at high risk for getting a plantar plate injury or may even suggest that’s what’s currently bothering them.
I got a question about that specific episode and the question was, “Well, if you have that pattern of callus, whichever one of the three it is and happens to be affecting you and your particular foot type with your particular running biomechanics, if I reduced the callus and the callus is going way or gone, does that mean there’s less pressure there?”
There’s a couple of interesting components to this question because we know that if you get a plantar plate sprain, it’s because you’ve had too much stress and strain on the ligament. One way that you can get too much stress and strain on the ligament is for too much direct pressure to the ligament. So, if the skin on the bottom of the foot, right under the plantar plate ligament is thicker, then it suggests that if you remove some of that thickness well it’s less pressure from the ground pushing up against it and hence may be less likely to actually lead to a plantar plate injury or at least pain in that area.
The first thing is that if you use something like a pumice stone or you go get a pedicure and you basically shave down all the callus so that that skin is thinner, there is less direct pressure there. But that doesn’t change anything about your biomechanics, and it doesn’t change anything about the stress and strain directly applied to that other than the thickness of the skin.
A different way to look at this is that if you do something to decrease the pressure and to decrease of friction in that area, and then the callus is starting to gradually disappear or kind of get more normal over time, then in that respect, you have definitely done something that you know is decreasing your risk for developing a plantar plate sprain or perhaps even healing something like a plantar plate sprain on the bottom of the foot, at the base of the second toe.
So just making the callus go away by shaving it down is partially going to help I suppose but it doesn’t really tell you that you’re heading in the right direction like if you see that the callus is dissipating over time because you’ve actually done something, you used some strategy to actually decrease that.
If you want to learn more about plantar plate sprains and what we do in runners and what you really think about as a runner with one of these problems, check out the plantar plate masterclass. It’s free, you get it at www.docontherun.com/plantarplatemasterclass. So, go sign up and I’ll see you in the training.