Plantar Fasciitis From Running

Plantar fasciitis causes pain on the bottom of the heel (the fascia is a flexible material extending from your heel bone to your metatarsal bones to which your toes are attached). The pain usually occurs after running but not during running, although some people have pain during running. It also occurs when you first get out of bed. This injury is aggravated by running on hard surfaces, by running on the balls of your feet during speed work or hills, and by excessive time in running. If you have plantar fasciitis, you'll feel pain on your heel, usually on the inside of the heel. To test for it, press on the middle of the heel (press with your thumb upwards towards the top of your foot). With heel spurs or bursitis, you'll feel pain when you press on the front of the heel, near the arch.

Persons with low arches are susceptible to plantar fasciitis due to insufficient shock absorption. Persons with high arches are susceptible due to a tight fascia.

Jeff Galloway suggests improvement of the arch support of the shoe and the toe squincher exercise to strengthen your foot.

Dr. Gabe Mirkin suggests stretching of your calf muscles and gives other suggestions as well.


The following article was written by Jason Schultz, a treatment specialist at www.Heel-That-Pain.com and is posted with his permission. His web site is www.plantar-fasciitis.org

Heel Pain Stopping You?
Many things can slow down your active lifestyle, but heel pain can definitely bring it to a stop. The most common form of heel pain in active people is known as Plantar Fasciitis (pronounced PLAN-tar fashee-EYE-tiss). It occurs when the long, flat ligament on the bottom of the foot (Plantar Fascia) stretches irregularly and develops small tears that cause the ligament to become inflamed. The pain is described as being dull aching or sharp and can be reproduced by flexing the toes upwards (dorsiflexion) and tensing the fascia.
Although the fascia is invested with countless sturdy 'cables' of connective tissue called collagen fibers, it is certainly not immune to injury. In fact, about 5 to 10 per cent of all athletic injuries are inflammations of the fascia, an incidence rate that in the United States would produce about a million cases of plantar fasciitis per year, just among runners and joggers. Basketball players, tennis players, volleyballer’s, step-aerobics participants, and dancers are also prone to plantar problems, as are non-athletic people who spend a lot of time on their feet or suddenly become active after a long period of lethargy. A recent study found that over 50 per cent of people who suffer from plantar fasciitis are on their feet nearly all day.
Plantar Fasciitis usually develops gradually. Heel pain may only occur when taking the first steps after getting out of bed or when taking the first steps after sitting for a long period of time. If the plantar fascia ligament is not rested, the inflammation and heel pain will get worse. Other conditions or aggravating factors, such as the repetitive stress of walking, standing, running, or jumping, will contribute to the inflammation and pain. In some cases, the inflamed ligament may not heal because many people who have plantar fasciitis do not completely stop the aggravating activity.
In athletes, a number of factors are associated with development of plantar fasciitis. These factors can lead the athlete to change his or her gait (the way the feet strike the ground), which can cause symptoms and injury. Risk factors for athletes include:
  • Biomechanical factors, such as decreased flexibility in the foot and ankle, imbalances in muscle strength (muscles in one leg or foot are weaker than the other), abnormal foot mechanics (when stepping down), and tightness in the Achilles tendon.
  • The repetitive nature of sports activities and improper training.
  • Rapidly increasing the number of miles run.
  • Running on steep hills.
  • Wearing shoes that are worn out.
  • Wearing running shoes that do not have a cushioned sole or enough arch support
  • Abruptly changing the intensity or duration of the running routine.
The traditional remedies for plantar fasciitis include stretching the calf, massaging, decreasing one's training, losing weight, purchasing better-fitting shoes (with a raised heel and arch support), icing the sore heel, and taking ibuprofen.

Another treatment option, also known as one of the easiest, is using heel seats in your shoes. Heel seats pick up and re-stretch the plantar fascia, redistribute the heels natural fat pad, provide structural reinforcement to the foot, and apply acupressure to relieve the pain while your feet heal. You can find such heel seats through your podiatrist or at www.Heel-That-Pain.com.
In any case, when you feel pain, your body is trying to warn you that something is wrong. See a doctor or specialist at the first sign of pain. Treating problems early is key to a healthy lifestyle.


The information on this site is for informational purposes only; it does not constitute medical or physical therapy advice. For medical advice, consult a physician. For physical therapy advice, consult a physical therapist.

7 comments:

JP said...

I had plantar fasciitis last year, it ruined the last half of my training and I had to run my half marathon with my foot taped. Note - I am a mid-foot striker.

To prevent it this year, I always do a calf stretch while sitting on the side of my bed before I get up in the morning or when I've been sitting for a while. The point is to stretch your foot before you put any weight on it so you don't tear (or re-tear) your fascia. While sitting, simply place one ankle on the opposite knee and pull back on your toes on the upper foot. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times. Do this with boot feet.

Rather than wear shoes that immobilize my foot, when the pain started to subside, I started to run in light weight trainers to strengthen my foot. This year I am training for a marathon and have done all of my long marathon training runs in light weight trainers. They are they only shoes that I use. (-- and I don't have sore feet any more!)

I also noticed that both my Achilles' Tendon and Plantar Fascia tend to have more pain when my calves are tight (obvious when it's pointed out) so I tend to watch for that symptom. Because I am a mid foot striker, I've started to pay attention to where my foot lands to make sure that it isn't to far forward on my toes. I've noticed that my calves get very tight when my strike is too far forward.

Joe

Anonymous said...

Plantar fasciitus can definitely ruin your training. It's strange that such a big painful ligament is so exposed and susceptible to damage while being so vital to walking and running. The people who have had plantar fasciitus know how painful and debilitating it can be. Heel pain is nothing to ignore and you should listen to the pain.

Anonymous said...

I suffered from plantar fasciitis for many years. Boy was it painful. I cured it with a combination of calf stretches, plantar fasciitis shoes (new balance shoes especially), and some foot exercises. I found this site helpful for plantar fasciitis: shoes for plantar fasciitis

heel pain treatment said...

Plantar fasciitis is extremely painful. I had to walk with a walking cast when I had it. It felt like something stabbing me in the heel.

Anonymous said...

After 2 weeks of hobbling out of bed i took the advice offered here. (Ibuprofen and stretching before getting out of bed). Actually I didn't need to do the stretching as I felt nothing when i woke up. It's 11am and I'm a new man- thank you so much!Here's hoping it's over and I can hit the trails at the foot of the Jura mountains here in France by the weekend. Encore merci!

Brian

DontWannaBe... said...

I found that walking barefoot in sand helped a lot with my PF. I tried orthotics, stretching and massages but they were temp relief. I have started running again 10 mins for the last 2 weeks and no PF flare ups whatsoever. More importantly no PF flareups since early July 2012 which when I started walking barefoot in sand.

Randall said...

Great!