Dealing with Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar FasciitisGoGoRunning Staff
August 2, 2011

Is foot pain causing you to dread those first few steps out of bed in the morning? If so, chances are you’ve got plantar fasciitis. Basically, this means the tissues on the bottom of your foot are inflamed. The plantar fascia is located on bottom of your foot and extends from your heel over the entire bottom of your foot.  You may experience pain at any point on the arch, though tenderness is often focused where your plantar fascia connects to the heel.

Plantar Fasciitis is one of the more common injuries that plague distance runners of all shapes, sizes and abilities. This is because your plantar fascia is placed under tremendous stress while you run, which makes it fairly easy to irritate. The most common causes of plantar fasciitis are a lack of arch support in the shoes, increase in activity, lack of flexibility in the calf muscles, being overweight, using unstable shoes on hard ground or spending too much time on your feet.

Common Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Options
•    Icing
•    Massaging
•    Stretching
•    Orthotics, especially if you have flat feet or high arches
•    Losing weight
•    Taking anti-inflammatory medication such as aspirin, Alieve or ibuprofen
•    Buying higher quality shoes
•    Running on grass or trails instead of sidewalks or roads
•    Decreasing mileage and time spent on your feet
•    Using a night split

Having gone through several bouts of plantar fasciitis ourselves, we agree that these solutions should help your feet. Here are some more detailed tips to help speed through the recovery process:
Plantar Fasciitis Recovery Tips
•    Freeze water in a Dixie cup, then tear away the top of the cup so you can use the block of ice to massage the inflamed area. When the ice melts, tear the cup as needed to uncover more ice.

•    Consider that treating the plantar fascia may be treating a symptom rather than the source of the problem. Many runners have very tight calf muscles, which prevents a full range of motion in the foot and places extra stress on the plantar fascia. Try getting a regular sports massage for your calves .

•    A good way to massage the plantar fascia directly is to roll your foot on a rubber ball or tennis ball. You can also freeze a water bottle and get your massage and icing done at the same time.

•    Be proactive. Warm up your feet and calves BEFORE you stand up in the morning to loosen them and lower the pain of the first few steps.

•    Take a quick 5min warm shower and let the water warm up your calf muscles before you go for a run.

•    Ladies: I know it’s awful but the high heels and flip-flops have got to go! Stick to shoes with a good arch support. It really does make a difference.

•    This doesn’t always work but try substituting your daily pre-run stretching for some general strength exercises like the Lunge Matrix.

For even more tips, check out this video from Dr. Jordan Metzle. Good luck in you battle with plantar fasciitis. Don’t forget, the sooner you start treatment the faster you’ll be back to running pain free!


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