Losing toenails running

Losing Toenails to Exercise
Toenails are a frequent casualty of distance running.Matthew Staver for The New York Times Some distance runners are having their toenails removed to avoid injuries.

Most runners end up losing a toenail from time to time. It is called onychoptosis, which means falling nail in Greek, and is typically caused by injury or stress to the nail.

For runners going long distances, toenail loss may occur because of shoes that are too snug or foot swelling that causes the nail to rub the end of the shoe. Untrimmed toenails can also contribute to the problem.

Today, Catherine Saint Louis writes about an unusual solution to toenail problems among the ultramarathon crowd: surgical removal of the toenail.

Ultramarathoners who number more than 17,000 nationwide, according to UltraRunning magazine appear crazy sometimes, but they are great strategists, said Dr. Robert M. Conenello, a sports podiatrist who tended to the feet of contestants at a seven-day RacingthePlanet race in the Sahara. A lot of them look at their toenails as useless appendages, remnants of claws from evolutionary times long ago. Ive heard them say, Toenails are dead weight.

To learn more, read the full story, One Ultrarunning Problem, Solved for Good, and then please join the discussion below. Would you consider toenail removal as a way to prevent toenail injuries?

losing toenails running
Losing Toenails: A Runners Rite of Passage?

Running Losing Toenails

While working at a running store Ive learned a lot

Ive learned there are various methods of tying shoes

Ive learned there are multiple designs of shoes and brand models and the fit of each

Ive learned while a shoe might be great for some people it might be awful for others. Internet reviews can tell you a lot about a shoe but no two people have the same feet. In fact, each persons feet are not identical.

Ive learned informationthat has helped my running and Ive learned informationthat helps people who walk through the doors. Ultimately my job is help people. My job doesnt revolve around my running; it revolves around other peoples running.

One of the most interesting things Ive learned is no matter the distance or amount you run, you shouldnotbe losing toenails.

Toenail loss isnt a sign of good running or training. Its not a runners riteof passage. You are not a real runner once your feet are nasty.

Losing toenails isa sign the shoe is not fitting you well.

When you lose toenails, it generally means theshoe is either too narrow or too short. The top of your toenail is jamming up against the shoe. It means there isnt enough space in the top of the shoe.

Think about it this way: if you continue to punch your arm, it will bruise.

If your toes continue to jam against the top of the shoe, they will bruise and eventually fall off. When you think about it, you are jamming your toenails against the shoe hundreds or even thousands of times per run. Most people lose their biggest toe or second toenail (depending on which toe is longer). Ifthe shoe is not wide enough you lose yourpinkie toe.

Signs your running shoe is too small

Bruised and loss of toenails

Toes being numb or tingling(if your toes go numb the shoe is generally too narrow)

The lateralside of your shoe gets a hole in it (the shoe is too narrow)

So how do you solve the problem of not losing toenails?

You should always go up a half size from your normal size. For instance, I wear a size 9 regular shoe. I wear a 9.5 or even 10 wide running shoe. My foot is able to breath the entire time. You should be able to wiggle your toes before, during and after the run.

The shoe might seem a little big at first but its not going to fall or slide off. Its always better to go up half a size versus cramming your foot into a smaller shoe. You normally cause far more issues by a too small of shoe versus too big and the loss of toenails is just one of those issues.

Question for you:

Have you ever lost toenails?

What running shoe do you currently wear?


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How to Prevent Losing Toenails From Exercising | Livestrong.com

Pressure placed on the toes during exercise may cause irritation or damage to the nail that result in toenail loss. This condition is common in runners, who refer to it as runner's toe. Some factors that cause toenail loss include toenail length, shoe fit and foot moisture. Be aware of the pain you are experiencing and adjust your shoes or socks to alleviate the problem. Consult with your doctor if you continue to lose toenails, have excessive pain in the toes or have a toe infection that does not heal.

Toenail Falling Off from Running

toenail falling offRunning is healthy for you for many reasons. It helps your blood pressure and cholesterol. It helps you to lose weight, gives you a better nights sleep and helps you to de-stress. If you do start running and start increasing your mileage as time goes on, you may notice one or more of your toenails falling off.

While it is very alarming at first, there is no need to worry. This is a common side effect of running that is easy to take care of. There are a few side effects from running that may surprise you. While nothing is painful with proper form and technique, you will be amazed at what your body can do. To learn more about how exercise affects our bodies, you can take a look at this course on the science of exercise. Not only will you learn about how exercise affects the body, but you will also learn tips and techniques to keep you motivated to work out and start feeling better.

Why Do Runners Lose Toenails?

Runners have tough feet for a reason. When you run longer distances, your feet take a beating. Whether you run on trails, on the track or on pavement, your feet are going to go through some wear and tear. Your toenails are one of the main victims, too. If you are starting out running and notice that one or more of your toenails is black, there is no cause for alarm. The black color is the bruising under your toenail. This happens mostly in marathon-distance runners and runners who do a lot of downhill training. These bruisers are also more likely to happen in warmer weather. Weve all had bruised before. They hurt a little, but go away soon enough. In order to prevent these, make sure your shoes are the right size. Additionally, trim your toenails and wear wicking socks to keep your feet dry.

Sometimes when toenails take repeated beatings, they can fall off as a result of all the impact from running. If you notice the signs early, you can easily take care of your toenail and avoid infection. You dont need to stop running, but make sure moisture stays away from the nail. This can cause infection. The pain shouldnt be stronger than your average bruise, because that is essentially what is happening. You bruised the skin under the toenail and the nail has to separate from the nail bed enough to make room for the toes swelling. As a result, the nail is loosened and will start the stages of falling off from the nail bed.

If you dont have too much pain, you can still run with your toenail in this condition. Just make sure to keep an eye on the nails progress. Usually, it will take a couple weeks to completely fall off and then another few weeks to grow back. If you do not see improvements, then you should see your doctor for additional treatment.

Toenail problems can come from how you run. If you are incorporating running into your lifestyle, it is worth your while to learn proper running technique. This will cut back on injuries and even help improve your pace and endurance. To learn more about proper running technique, you can read this blog. You will not only learn how to improve your stride, but how to use your whole body to your benefit when you are out on runs. Another way you can improve your overall running is by learning how you breathe and tweaking your breathing so it is proper for running. You can learn how to control and manage proper breathing through this course. And running is beneficial for your health. If you take into consideration your health and how to improve it, you will be able to live longer and have a better quality of life overall. If you are interested in learning more about how to get the perfect health, we offer this course, which can teach you the tips and tools you need.

Prevent Losing Toenails and Other Injuries

Lost toenails are not the only discomfort you may face from running. For those who are new and just starting out, it is common for your legs to be sore after your first run. This isnt anything alarming, but something natural that happens. There are plenty of easy ways you can help the discomfort of sore legs. Stretching before and after running is one of the best ways to do so. Another way to help your muscles is to purchase a foam roller. What this device does is loosen tight muscles, improves range of motion and more. If you already have a foam roller, you can learn more ways to use it through this course. With all exercise, the more precaution you take before, during and after exercise, the less prone to injury and soreness you will be.

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