Don’t let plantar fasciitis slow you down and ruin your training routine. Just because you’ve been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis doesn’t mean you have to stop running. If you take the right precautions you can stay active.
UNDERSTANDING PLANTAR FASCIITIS: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Plantar fasciitis is defined as an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a long band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. The tendon helps support the arch of the foot and allows you to point your toes. People who suffer from plantar fasciitis report feeling sharp pain in their heel upon waking up in the morning. Some individuals report pain after extended periods of high activity. Around one in ten people develop plantar fasciitis at some point in their life, but symptoms commonly disappear over time.
DOES RUNNING CAUSE PLANTAR FASIITIS?
Plantar fasciitis can be caused by heel striking, which is a side effect of over-striding. Reaching forward with your legs in each stride and landing on your heel can create a lot of force. Having tight calves can also make your Achilles tendon inflexible and pull the plantar fascia. If the plantar fascia is stretched too far micro-tears form and it becomes inflamed. Wearing old, worn-out running shoes that lack arch support can also lead to plantar fasciitis.
HOW CAN I KEEP RUNNING WITH PLANTAR FASCIITIS?
You can keep up your running habits with plantar fasciitis, but you have to train smarter. Here’s a few tips:
- Monitor your form. Don’t tense up your body as you run. Be sure to relax your lower legs, glute and calves.
- Don’t move forward with your legs. Allow your upper body to lead and let your legs follow. As you run, land with your feet directly under your center of mass.
- If you experience when you run reduce your distance until the pain becomes less prominent.
- Wear proper running shoes! Running in shoes that support your foot type can increase performance and provide essential support.
- Stretch out your Achilles tendon and calf muscles. Stress and tightness in the calf can lead to pain in the plantar fascia.