Do I have to wait for my callus to go away before I can run? Well, that’s a great question and that’s what we’re talking about today on the Doc On The Run Podcast.
I recently saw a woman that had an extremely painful callus on the bottom of her foot. And because of her mechanics, because of the way she’s built, and because of the ways that she runs, she got this callus called an intractable plantar keratosis where you get a hard callus kind of embedded in the skin on the bottom of the foot.
It hurts. It’s like having a little rock taped to your foot and I’ve done a couple of other episodes on these showing you how I shell them out, how I removed them and when you do that, it leaves a little crater in your foot where you remove the hard piece of the callus. You’re not bleeding, you’re not causing an open wound, but you have to cut that hard tissue out because it’s not going to just go away, particularly if you’re applying the stimulus that caused it in the first place. That’s two things, pressure and friction.
So, if you get a callus and then you remove it or your doctor removes it, and you’re going to try to get it to go away, we tell you, you have to get the skin to flatten out. You need to keep some moisturizer or lotion or ointment or something in there so that the skin will stay soft. You want to keep pressure and friction off of it so that it will actually have a chance of just flattening out and going away.
But if you really aggravated and irritated it’s not going to go away. So, then the question becomes do I have to wait until it goes away before I started running again? Well, not really. So, in most cases, if you can remove the pressure and the friction from that spot, it will still flatten out and go away.
Is it true that you if you stayed off your feet completely, it would go away? Yes, it would go away faster, but it’s not going to go away quickly. The callus on there actually has sort of a tissue memory kind of thing and a lot of times when you shift your activity a lot from running a lot, putting a lot of pressure on it in one spot, you remove the pressure and friction, the callus will sort of gradually stop forming as quickly but it doesn’t happen overnight. Even if you’re completely off your feet.
I would never recommend that you just stop all activity and try to take all the stress off that spot because you’re going to lose all your running fit, it’s going to take forever to get better. And that is the whole key when you have any kind of running injury and you’re trying to get better. You have to go, okay, what can I do, that I know how to do, that I already learned in training that I can apply to my healing, my recovery now so I can start working out right now and get back to running on my timeline, as opposed to some arbitrary doctor timeline, and that’s what you got to do.
That’s the thing I show you how to do it a book I wrote called the running injury roadmap. You get a copy for free at www.docontherun.com/roadmap. So check it out, and I’ll see you in the training.