Here is everything you need to know about running with plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes heel pain. It is caused by the inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the thick tissue that connects your heel to your toes along your sole.
The plantar fascia is shaped like a bowstring and acts as a shock absorber for your foot. When you repeatedly stretch and tear it, you cause irritation or inflammation to it.
Its symptoms are a pain: at the heel, along the sole, when you first get out of bed but reduces after a few more steps, when you start running, that increases in intensity over time, worsening after activity.
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While rest is sometimes the best option when plantar fasciitis develops, athletes may question whether they can still pound the pavement while dealing with plantar fasciitis.
WILL RUNNING WORSEN PLANTAR FASCIITIS?
If you have a mild to moderate case of plantar fasciitis, it’s possible to run. However, you should have a rehabilitation plan in place; otherwise, it will affect your ability to run long-term.
It is important to remember that this isn’t the time to increase the volume and intensity of your runs.
If the pain is severe and persistent, you should stop running. If you keep running, you can cause permanent tissue damage, develop abnormal movement patterns, increase inflammation and risk of serious injury.
You must observe your symptoms before deciding whether to keep running. Otherwise, you may end up making your symptoms prolong.
SHOULD YOU REST OR EXERCISE WITH PLANTAR FASCIITIS?
Rest is one of the best ways to treat plantar fasciitis.
Running with plantar fasciitis is a bad idea. However, if you need to keep exercising, it’s recommended that you do low impact exercises.
Avoid any exercises that will jolt your foot, like running or jumping.
Exercises you can do with plantar fasciitis are cardio exercises like a stationary cycle, swimming, and battle ropes.
You can also do strength exercises like bench press, pull-ups, push-ups, and stretches.
Easy stretches to do when you’re avoiding running with plantar fasciitis are wall stretch, calf stretches, and ankle circles.
You can try using a tennis ball or a frozen water ball to massage the bottom of your foot.
As always, it’s important to make sure you consult your doctor before you try exercising with plantar fasciitis.
WHAT TO DO WHEN RUNNING WITH PLANTAR FASCIITIS
If your plantar fasciitis is mild, consider the following tips if you want to keep running.
SUPPORT YOUR FEET
Ensure you have the right footwear to support your feet. Plantar fasciitis running shoes provide adequate arch support.
Taping and orthotics can also decrease stress and aggravation of your plantar fascia.
Stretch multiple times per day to help you keep running.
Make sure you stretch your ankle, calf, and plantar fascia.
Studies found a link between tightness in the main calf muscle and the severity of heel pain when patients have plantar fasciitis.
Running with plantar fasciitis demands a strict stretching regimen and running in easy intervals.
Do dynamic stretches that activate your hip flexors, hamstrings, quads, glutes, and calves.
Mix other activities with your exercising. To ensure you reach your fitness goals, reduce the amount of running you’re doing but add other exercises to your program.
Cardio, water jogging can help with your fitness goals without affecting your plantar fascia.
After running with plantar fasciitis, it’s important to ice your foot after your warm down.
Spend about 15 minutes applying ice to your plantar fascia. Wrap the ice in a towel or use a bottle of frozen water to massage the area.
WHAT AGGRAVATES PLANTAR FASCIITIS?
Ignoring the sharp pain in your feet doesn’t make plantar fasciitis go away. You also can’t act like it’s a manageable pain that will go away by itself eventually.
Here are things that make plantar fasciitis worse and how you can ease it.
SUDDEN WEIGHT GAIN
Gaining extra weight can lead to pain in your feet. If your work involves lifting heavy weights, you may also experience heel pain.
Losing weight or reducing your load decreases the stress to your feet and can lessen symptoms.
If your job requires you to stand for most of the day, it can worsen your symptoms.
Make sure you sit down for several minutes in between standing. Put your feet up while resting and massage them if possible. Stand on a padded mat if possible.
Try wearing support socks as well.
SLEEPING OR SITTING FOR LONG
Plantar fasciitis can be aggravated when you sit or sleep for very long. When you take that first step after putting your feet up, your heel can feel very painful.
Before getting up, try to point and flex your feet for a few minutes.
Certain shoes can make life hell for your feet. If they have no padding or arch support, they can worsen the condition.
Wear supportive shoes until the symptoms disappear.
HIGH BLOOD SUGAR
Consuming foods that are too high in sugar can cause your body to produce molecules called advanced glycation end products. They can cause inflammation.
Studies show that people living with diabetes are at higher risk of plantar fasciitis.
Cut back on refined sugars.
NOT STRETCHING PROPERLY
Before you start your workout, it’s important to stretch. However, if you ignore your feet can worsen plantar fasciitis.
Including foot stretches as part of your warmup reduces the risk of plantar fasciitis.
This means that your feet roll inwards as you move. When you overpronate, the outer edge of your heel hits the ground first. Then your foot rolls inwards onto the arch. This means you over-flatten your feet.
This can lead to plantar fasciitis.
Your doctor can elevate your gait, prescribe supportive footwear, prescribe orthotics or surgery.
HOW DO YOU PERMANENTLY GET RID OF PLANTAR FASCIITIS?
If your heel pain persists, you may need more than rest to get rid of it.
According to the Mayo Clinic, over the counter medications like ibuprofen can ease pain and inflammation.
Stretching and strengthening therapy can also help relieve plantar fasciitis symptoms. A physical therapist can show you the most effective exercises to strengthen the foot.
Night splints can hold the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia in a lengthened position. They stretch the calf and foot while you sleep.
Orthotics are arch supports that can also be prescribed to get rid of plantar fasciitis.
Injecting steroids in the heel can ease the pain. However, multiple steroid injections can lead to a weakened plantar fascia making it rapture.
Shock wave therapy can be used to stimulate healing. Sound waves are directed at the heel.
Another solution to plantar fasciitis is inserting a needle-like probe into the damaged plantar fascia tissue.
The probe tip vibrates to break up the damaged tissue, which is then suctioned out using ultrasound energy.
Should the heel pain persist for several months and no other treatment forms have worked, doctors may recommend surgery. It detaches the plantar fascia from the heel bone.
Only keep running with plantar fasciitis if the pain is mild.
Make sure to stop running for a few weeks if the pain is severe.
If you ignore the pain, it can lead to chronic heel pain, which can change how you walk and increase the risk of injury to your legs and back.
It can take up to two years to get rid of plantar fasciitis.