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Why you should splurge on a medical pedicure

You're a runner–we know your feet have seen better days

medical pedicure

Runners’ feet take quit a beating in training and competition. Calluses, bunions, black toenails or no toenails at all are things most runners deal with, but even mild foot pain can cause you to unconsciously alter the way you walk and run, which leads to compensation and compromises your muscles and joints in other ways. If it gets to the point where your foot or feet are painful, it’s time for a trip to your local salon for a pedicure–while skipping the nail polish.

A medical pedicure, or “medi-pedi,” is a footcare practice more closely resembling a medical procedure than your typical nail appointment. The specialized treatment targets the overall health of your feet, rather than just their appearance.

Injured runner sitting on a wooden floor background

Typically, the longer your race distance, the more foot issues you will deal with. Ultramarathoners are definitely familiar with the pain that even the smallest blister can cause, and need to take extra steps to care for their feet. Especially at these distances, when no amount of moisturizer or blister bandages can provide you with relief, you’ll be prompted to take more serious interventions.

A pedicure doctor examines a patient's feet with problematic heels

Your technician, a trained chiropodist, will assess your foot for underlying health conditions such as warts, ingrown toenails, athlete’s foot or fungal infections and will address the discomfort you may be experiencing. The procedural steps include sanitizing, trimming and filing your toenails, softening and buffing thick calluses and intensive moisturizing. Believe it or not, the calluses you’ve developed over time to toughen up your feet can become too thick and eventually cause your skin to crack.

The treatment will not only leave your feet feeling smooth and soft, but will also set you up to avoid painful blisters, worsening infections, black toenails or ingrown toenails. The technician also provides advice for properly caring for your feet to treat and/or prevent future issues.

Pedicure. Removal of corns and callus using a milling machine.

Follow-ups for your medi pedi should be done every three to six months, but you can go more often until your discomfort is properly addressed. There are two drawbacks to the procedure: being in a doctor’s office makes it a little less relaxing than your typical spa day, and the price tag accompanying the service could be $200 or more. On the bright side, it is much more sterile than a salon, and may be covered by your private health insurance. Running pain-free does sound like a pretty good return on your investment!

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