backpacker_figureFeatured in a recent issue of Backpacker Magazine (article by Allison Patillo) Dr. Marybeth Crane describes the benefits of trail running for building hiking strengths. Dr. Crane, whose practice is Foot and Ankle Associates of North Texas told of a set of exercises for hikers and runners.

The article and exercises reported in PM News, the Voice of Podiatrists tell us that Dr. Crane is a lifelong runner as well as being a podiatrist foot and ankle surgeon. The first exercise she recommends is called the ABC. “Use your big toe to write the alphabet. The wide variety of movement improves flexibility and works foot and ankle muscles. All reduce the chance of sprains or injury.”

The other suggested exercise is Towel Crunches: To strengthen the interossei and lumbricals, the tiny toe muscles that provide stability for navigating uneven terrain, Crane recommends this exercise: Put your foot on a towel and scrunch or grab the towel with your toes (either seated or standing). Do it 10 times, take a 30-second break, and repeat twice. If this gets easy, try grabbing a pen or marker with your toes instead.

Dr. Crane has two books available at the website, — “Got Feet” is a gift book about common foot issues while “If Your Running Feet Could Talk — the Runner’s First Aid Kit” is available through Dr. Crane’s secure shopping cart.

If you find that foot and ankle injuries still plague you, remember that small foot bones which have been cracked or broken need to be cared for as soon as possible after the injury to help accomplish the most rapid and successful recovery. At Hoosier Foot and Ankle, we have five clinics in the Indianapolis area available for your convenience. You can call 317-660-2115 for an appointment or use the online appointment request option.