“To prevent plantar fasciitis...keep mileage increases to less than 10% per week.” —Runner's World
Sadly, many of us involved in running—short and long distances—develop Plantar Fasciitis at some point. I wanted to discuss Plantar Fasciitis (pronounced plant-er fay-shee-eye-tis) treatments for running because this persistent heel pain is so terribly debilitating and painful. According to Plantar-Fasciitis.org, “Athletes are particularly prone to plantar fasciitis and commonly suffer from it. Excessive running, jumping, or other activities can easily place repetitive or excessive stress on the tissue and lead to tears and inflammation, resulting in moderate to severe pain....”
What causes plantar fasciitis?
In the course of running one mile, your heels will strike the ground about 1,500 times. If you suffer from Plantar Fasciitis, that can be 1,500 winces in agony. Plantar Fasciitis is caused by:
sudden increase in physical activity,
no arch support,
lack of calf muscle flexibility,
using poorly-cushioned running shoes,
standing on hard surfaces,
using stiff-soled shoes,
or prolonged standing.
Scott Roberts of HeelSpurs.com reports that, 12% of his visitors say running is the cause of their Plantar Fasciitis, 10% point to a change in activity, and 4% blame new shoes. He also says 10% of running injuries involve heel pain with 25% of sufferers being male runners and only 7% being female runners.
How can it be treated?
The very best Plantar Fasciitis treatment for runners is less running. No way around it. While changing running surfaces (i.e. running on grass instead of cement) eases some runner's pain, others feel it makes the plantar fascia work harder and increases their pain.
Of course, getting custom orthodics for your shoes is recommended. Also, buy your running shoes at a specialty running store where the staff can provide expertise on getting you the perfect-fitting running shoe. Stretching your calves thoroughly before a run also helps to loosen up the plantar fascia, which extends from the heel to the ball of the foot.
The RICE method
Beyond this, Plantar Fasciitis treatments for running are the same as they would be for anything else—rest, ice, massage, and stretch. Another idea is to try some of the Plantar Fasciitis treatments available at Heel That Painand Mend Me Shop.
For example, something that is commonly associated with Plantar Fasciitis is heel pain first thing in the morning. Why? Because the plantar fascia has been tightening in an attempt to heal itself all night. On these websites, you can get a boot that holds your feet at a 90 degree angle throughout the night, reducing morning heel pain.