Plantar Fasciitis from Running
Few things are more frustrating to runners than an injury that keeps them off of their feet. Yet the fact is that 10% of runners will develop plantar fasciitis from running. Plantar fasciitis is an injury that occurs to the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is the band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes. As you would suspect, this connective tissue is used constantly in running and walking. But, greater amounts of pressure cause higher strain on the plantar fascia. Thus, runners and people who are overweight and on their feet all the time are the most susceptible.
If you’ve developed plantar fasciitis from running, it’s rather easy to diagnose. You’ll feel it as an aching or stabbing pain at the base of your heel. Sometimes the pain extends along the arch of the foot as well. The pain is particularly prominent at the beginning of a run, but tends to go away as you warm up. In general, it’s at its worse whenever the foot has been resting. For this reason, the sure sign of plantar fasciitis is intense pain in the heel or arch during your first few steps in the morning. In the worst case scenario, plantar fasciitis can last for months if it goes without treatment or rest. But, if spotted early on, it’s easy to manage it and make the necessary changes to protect yourself during future runs.
One of the biggest reasons that runners develop plantar fasciitis is improper footwear. What that means exactly is unclear, as various changes in shoes have had different effects on different people. For some, shedding shoes altogether and running barefoot or with minimal footwear has resolved their plantar fasciitis. For others, changing to a different brand of shoes has made the difference. Because specialists don’t know the precise cause of plantar fasciitis, they often suggest that just making any change to your footwear will help. Play around with it, and see what works for you. Try using supportive inserts. Unfortunately, those with flat feet or high arches are particularly susceptible to plantar fasciitis from running. For this group supportive inserts can be very helpful.
Other causes include tight muscles. Tight calf muscles will put excessive pressure on your plantar fascia. Stretch your calf muscles regularly before each run to loosen them up and help support your plantar fascia.
Running with Plantar Fasciitis
If you’re looking to increase your mileage, do so gradually. Increasing the length or the speed of your runs too suddenly will cause too much pressure on your feet before they’re ready for it. Athletes who run at excessive speeds or on hilly terrains are likely to develop plantar fasciitis. If you want to change it up, be patient and gentle with yourself.
To make plantar fasciitis more livable during runs, you can provide extra support for your feet using inserts or athletic tape. Tape the arches of your feet whenever you’re planning to run, walk, or stand for longer periods of time. Make sure that all of the shoes you wear are supportive, no matter what you’re doing.
Luckily, plantar fasciitis can be treated by stretching and massaging the affected area. Click here to see how the Rolflex PRO can be used to alleviate pain associated with plantar fasciitis. Interested in learning about other running related injuries? Click this link to learn about Iliotibial Band Syndrome.