If you run regularly and feel pain in the heel of your foot, then there’s a chance you might be suffering from plantar fasciitis.
This is a common overuse injury that can take a toll on your running routine.
You can’t not use your feet for the rest of your life, especially when you have the running bug.
Basically, there’s no real cure for overuse problems, expect for rest and ice, and good prevention.
In today’s article, I’ll go through some of the exercises and guidelines for plantar fasciitis relief, recovery, and prevention.
Let’s dig in.
Plantar Fasciitis Explained
Every time your foot hits the ground, it absorbs the impact of roughly two and a half times your body weight.
Add that up over hundreds of miles, and it’s not surprising that your feet get tired, and runners get injured often in the lower legs.
It all makes sense.
That’s why the feet are some most injury-prone areas in a runner’s body.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common inflictions.
So What’s is All About?
The plantar fascia consists of a band of deep tissue that stretches from the heel bone to the toes.
The band supports the arch and provides shock absorption and cushioning when standing, walking and running.
It also allows s to point and flex the toes.
Plantar fasciitis is deformation or a tear of this band of tissue, and it’s one of the worst running nightmares.
The condition is also pretty common in athletes who do high impact sports, the elderly, the overweight, and individuals who work long hours on their feet, such as teachers and waitresses.
The condition can also be caused by certain health issues, including ankylosing spondylitis and reactive arthritis.
The most common culprits behind plantar fasciitis include:
- High arches
- Flat feet
- Sudden increases in training intensity/length
- Weight gain
- Ill-fitting running shoes
- Bad running form
Without further ado, here’s what you need to do to prevent (and bring relief) to your Achille tendonitis pain.
Choose Good Running Shoes
If you have plantar fasciitis, running shoes with plenty of arch support, shock absorption, cushioning, and a deep heel cup will help alleviate foot pain as well as avoid it in the future.
You may add a shock-absorbent insole for extra comfort.
As a rule, look for running shoes that suit your foot type and biomechanics and avoid flat running shoes.
If you run a lot, replace your running shoes on a regular basis (usually every 400 to 500 miles) because the structure of the footwear can wear down over time.
Avoid walking around the house barefoot on hard surfaces, especially the first few steps when you get in the morning.
This can stress the tissue at the bottom of your foot, causing more damage.
If possible, limit your use of shoes to flat bottoms, like slippers and flip-flops, as these provide little to no arch support.
Since plantar fascia pain is mostly caused by swelling, turning to ice therapy can help soothe pain and reduce inflammation, especially if symptoms persist.
Hold an ice pack over the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes three or four times a day.
To make an ice pack, put a handful of crushed ice in a plastic bag, then wrap a hand towel around it.
You can also roll the affected foot over a frozen water bottle for a few minutes.
Also, remember to ice your foot right after running or extended periods of standing or sitting.
Plantar fasciitis might be caused by tightness in the muscles surrounding your feet, causing tension and leading to pain beyond the heel.
Here’s the good news.
Regular stretching can help soothe tension in the foot and calf.
This can help relieve pain and improve your symptoms over time.
What’s not to like!
Research out of Rochester University reported that plantar fascia-specific stretches improved recovery and lowered pain in those suffering from plantar fasciitis.
So what should you stretch?
Mainly your Achille tendon, plantar fascia, calves, and the bottom of your foot.
Here are two stretches to try:
Stretch One – The Plantar Fascia
Begin by sitting down and crossing your right foot over the left.
Grab your toes and gently pull them back toward the shin to stretch the arch of the foot.
Hold the position for a count of ten then repeat 8 to 10 times.
You should feel the stretch in the back of the injured foot, just above the heel.
Stretch Two – The Calves
Start by standing facing a wall and placing your hands flat against it.
Next, step your right foot behind the left, keeping both feet parallel to each other and toes pointing forward toward the wall.
Next, straighten your right leg and gently lean toward the wall by bending the left knee while keeping your back heel on the ground.
Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, and then switch feet.
Painkillers such as Advil, Mortin, and Aleve may ease the inflammation and soothe pain caused by plantar fasciitis.
These meds can be brought over-the-counter from your pharmacist.
Just be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before you start popping pills, especially if you have allergies, upset stomach, or existing conditions.
Use A Night Splint
Night splints work by stretching the calf and plantar fascia of the foot while you’re sleeping.
If you’re regularly plagued by plantar fasciitis, consider wearing night splints at night.
These keep your plantar fascia stretched out, preventing it from tightening or cramping.
For chronic cases, a night splint can help stretch the plantar fascia and soothe the pain.
These can also brace the foot and ankle in the right position as you sleep.
But don’t forget to consult your doctor or podiatrist when choosing a suitable splint.
To manage plantar fasciitis, try taping your feet. Kinesio taping improves blood flow, provides support, and helps reduce inflammation and swelling with gentle compression.
It also helps support the affected limb and keeps it from moving in a way that worsens your symptoms.
Don’t take my word for it.
A review of eight studies reported that taping offers short term pain relief for patients with plantar fasciitis.
This video shows how to tape your plantar fascia for quick relief.
Also, take notes of different types of Kinesio type before you grab one.
See A Doctor
Still in pain despite taking all the above measures?
Then call your doctor.
They can check if the pain you’re dealing with is actually from plantar fasciitis and provide you with a further solution if it isn’t.
There you have it! If you’re looking for practical strategies for soothing and preventing plantar fasciitis when running, then today’s post got you covered.
Now it’s up to you.
The ball is in your court.
Be proactive about prevention, and you’ll have to deal with less pain on the road.
The rest is just details, as the saying goes.
Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.
In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.
Keep training strong.