Tips for Running with Plantar Fasciitis

There is no question that running is good for your health.  It keeps you fit and active and helps to keep your weight in moderation, which goes a long way toward preventing health complications.  However, people who run on a regular basis do sometimes develop plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament located on the underside of the foot.

Repetitive strain causes the ligament in the foot to develop tiny tears.  Normally these tears would heal on their own.  If the foot continues to be placed under stress, though, the ligament may not be able to heal those tears properly.  This inflammation is known as plantar fasciitis.  If you have plantar fasciitis, you may experience pain in the heels and the bottoms of the feet.

Most people who have plantar fasciitis find that the pain is worst when they first get up in the morning, and it gets a little better after they move around a bit.  Exercise or spending a lot of time on your feet can aggravate the pain, though.

If you have plantar fasciitis, you don’t have to stop running.  Use these tips for running with plantar fasciitis to help you stick to your routine without suffering.

  1. Cut back on your training schedule.  You may need to test yourself a bit to see what your body can handle; depending on your injury, a reduction of 25 – 75% of your typical mileage may be necessary.  If you cut back your mileage but continue to have pain, then this is a sign that your body needs to rest and heal.  Take a little time off and allow your body to heal.  When you are ready to start running again, start slowly and build from there.
  2. Always stretch before running.  This will help to strengthen the plantar fascia, relieve tension, and prevent further injury.  To begin stretching, stand facing a wall and place your hands against the wall.  Lean forward, keeping one leg straight and the other leg bent.  Remain in this position for 10 seconds, taking note of the stretching sensation in the heel of the straightened leg.  Next, take that straightened leg and bend it toward the side, so that there is pressure on the ankle.  Hold for 10 seconds, and repeat 5 – 10 times.  Next, sit down on a sturdy surface.  Place your feet flat on the floor.  Keep the toes on the floor, but lift the rest of the foot upward.  Hold for 10 seconds, and repeat 5 – 10 times.
  3. Before you go for a run, it might help to take an anti-inflammatory medication – see your doctor or pharmacist for advice. This will help to minimize any inflammation that occurs as a result of your run.  After running, apply ice to the bottom of the feet, which will also help to minimize inflammation.  If you have pain after running, you can repeat the dose of anti-inflammatory medication as instructed by your doctor/pharmacist.
  4. Give yourself a foot massage.  A cold water bottle is a great therapy tool for people with plantar fasciitis.  Just place the cold water bottle under your foot, and roll it back and forth.  The cold will help to relieve pain and inflammation, while the rolling motion relaxes the ligaments in the foot.  You could also use a tennis ball to massage your feet.

If you have plantar fasciitis, you don’t have to stop running.  You just need to approach it carefully.  Call to  Foot Solutions.  A new pair of shoes with proper support will make a world of difference.  Visit Foot Solutions today to see how we can help you keep running with plantar fasciitis.