Foot pain can be scary. Especially when you’re not sure what’s causing your foot to ache in the first place.
Plantar fasciitis isn’t random, and certain people are more prone to heel pain than others. If you’re in one of these four categories, you may have to take special measures to protect your feet:
The benefits of running far outweigh the cons. But it’s also true that long, frequent runs can lead to plantar fasciitis.
While pushing your limits is invigorating, it’s also true that plantar fasciitis has been the bane of many a runner. The overuse of the plantar fascia can cause tiny tears in the ligament that cause plantar fasciitis to form.
What to Do If You’re a Runner:
Don’t fret; here’s what you can do to keep running while preventing plantar fasciitis:
- Check your shoes. Don’t be cheap with your feet; make sure your running shoes are up to snuff. Running shoes should be replaced every three months.
- Correct your insoles. Know your feet; are you flat-footed? High-arched? Consider having a doctor help you choose an insole for your particular anatomy.
- Stay extra limber. Incorporate calf and foot stretches into your pre-run routine and several times throughout the day. Also don’t forget to stretch your hamstrings and hip flexors.
When you approach roughly 45 years of age, you’ll likely start noticing some unpleasant changes that may include plantar fasciitis.
This is likely the result of decades of wear and tear. For this reason, women especially are prone to plantar fasciitis, since they wear high heels or flat-bottom sandals more often. Also, menopause is a factor because it causes a thinning of the fat layer of the sole.
What to Do if You’re a Boomer:
Unfortunately, you can’t stop growing up. But here’s what you can do to help your plantar fasciitis when you’re middle-aged:
- Wear more comfortable shoes. This is your excuse to ditch the fancy footwear for something with a little more support.
- Take extra care. Avoid long treks if you’re feet aren’t supported through orthotics, insoles, and padded shoes.
- Don’t avoid exercise. Your pain may make you want to stay immobile: don’t do it. Exercise your legs, feet, and calves instead.
Foot-pain studies show that many individuals who report heel pain are overweight. Further, obesity often results in pronation, which is usually a result of fallen arches. This is due to a complex biomechanical reaction that occurs in some individuals.
Excess weight places additional stress on the plantar fascia. Over time, the strain will cause small tears in the ligament and plantar fasciitis symptoms will develop. The other response of the fascia is to thicken with increased loads; this too can cause pain.
Finally, to make matters worse, the extra weight may be wearing out your shoes faster, diminishing the support you get with each step. It is also now known that extra fat tissue actually produces inflammation; this can increase pain everywhere.
What to Do If You’re Overweight:
In addition to losing weight, here’s some extra steps you can take to help your feet:
- Change shoes/insoles more frequently.If you’ve gained a lot of weight somewhat recently, make sure you’ve adjusted your shoe-buying habits; you may need new pairs more often.
- Get insoles that account for pronation. Fallen arches might be a problem if not supported.
- Consider working out in a pool. water can reduce the overall load on your feet yet allow you to experience resistance and aerobic work.
Like runners, weightlifters put a lot of wear and tear on their feet. And if your muscle bulk is making you heavier than the average person, you may be at risk for plantar fasciitis.
In particular, lifters that go heavy on leg day are the most prone to problems. Squats and deadlifts can exacerbate existing foot conditions, such as pronation.
What to Do If You’re a Lifter:
You don’t need to sacrifice progress for pain; here’s how to get whole again.
- Focus on your upper body while you heal. Unfortunately, your squats may be delaying the healing process. Try giving your lower body a break for a week.
- Get comfortable with arches.Some competitive lifters may shun soles that aren’t flat. But artificial arches may be necessary to correct foot pain. We recommend that you seek a professional evaluation of your foot shape in order to craft the best insert for your sport.
What EVERYONE Should Do
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