It’s no surprise that the foot accounts for 15% of all running injuries; our feet absorb a force many times our body weight with each step. Plantar fasciitis, characterized by minor rips or inflammation of the tendons and ligaments that run from your heel to your toes, is the most common foot ailment among runners, with 10% of runnersworld.com poll respondents experiencing it in the previous year. The pain is usually worse first thing in the morning, and it feels like a dull ache or bruise around your arch or on the bottom of your heel.
WHO’S AT RISK?
Runners with highly high or shallow arches are more vulnerable, according to Saxena, since both foot shapes stretch the plantar fascia away from the heel bone. Extreme pronation (foot rolls inwards excessively) or supination (foot rolls outwards excessively) are other reasons to increase your mileage too soon. Long durations of standing, particularly on hard surfaces without supporting footwear, may aggravate the condition. Tight hip flexors, a weak core, and a history of lower back discomfort can all contribute to lower back discomfort.
“Back troubles and core weakness might cause small stride adjustments that you’ll notice in your feet,” Merrill explains.
CAN YOU RUN THROUGH IT?
Plantar fasciitis is a famously bothersome injury, and while running through it is doable, it can delay recovery. According to Saxena, recovery time might range from three months to a year, though six months is most common. In chronic situations, it is typically preferable to take a complete break from running. Swimming and pool running relieve strain on your feet. Cycling or utilizing an elliptical machine can help you maintain fitness, but only if you are pain-free while doing so. While relaxing, wear a Strassburg sock to protect your arch from soreness.
Saxena recommends rolling your foot over a frozen water bottle for five minutes at a time, five times a day. Sit with one leg crossed over the other such that your right ankle rests on your left knee to stretch your plantar fascia—gently drawback on the end of your right foot near the toes. Merrill also suggests using a foam roller to ease up calf stiffness, which may be a problem. He also emphasizes the significance of completing essential tasks (planks, back extensions).
“I almost always encounter someone who has had plantar discomfort for years lack core strength,” Merrill explains. “Sometimes, all they need is a little core practice to improve their heel. A strong core relieves tension on the spine and prevents discomfort from being transferred to the feet.”
PREVENT A RELAPSE
According to Saxena, seek an examination at a running shoe store or from a podiatrist or physical therapist to ensure your shoes match your foot type. A customized orthotic may also be beneficial. Several times a day, stretch and massage the plantar fascia. Hang your feet over the side of the bed and roll your ankles in the morning. At least twice a week, do core work.
In 2007, Magdalena Lewy Boulet, a 2:26 marathoner, battled plantar fasciitis to the point where she considered retiring.
“I embarked on an active-isolated stretching rehab regime, and it cured me,” she adds. “It’s now a common element of my maintenance schedule. I do it twice a day for around 15 minutes each time.”
Foot Wary: How to Proceed
- Stop Ongoing, ever-present arch soreness, and tenderness that doesn’t seem to dissipate even once you’ve warmed up for a run.
- Caution: If you have any pain when you step out of bed, get up after sitting for a long time, or during the first few minutes of a run.
- Run: When you are pain-free throughout the day, including your first steps in the morning, you should run. It’s not a problem to walk barefoot on hard surfaces.
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