Plantar fasciitis affects many runners. This condition, which involves irritation of the tissues in the sole of the foot, causes heel pain. Plantar fasciitis leaves many runners feeling frustrated because they are not sure whether to rest or run through the pain. Here are some tips that could help you decide what to do.
1. Deloading is Essential for Healing
If pushing yourself through a training program has caused your plantar fasciitis, then continuing to train hard is only going to make it worse. To let your body heal, you have to reduce the amount of stress that you are putting on the damaged tissues. That doesn't necessarily mean not running at all, but it does mean decreasing your training volume and intensity. Cut your mileage, take extra rest days and leave the speed sessions until your feet are feeling better.
2. Gentle Activity Can Help
On the other hand, being completely inactive is not good for plantar fasciitis either. You might have noticed that your heel pain is at its worst first thing in the morning. Lying down all night can cause your calves to tighten up, pulling on the plantar fascia to make the pain worse. Try to avoid sitting all day long when you have plantar fasciitis. Instead, get up and stretch your legs or take a short walk. You can even go for a gentle jog as long as it doesn't make your pain worse.
3. Changing Your Shoes Might Help
Many podiatrists recommend using arch support to correct your running gait and reduce the amount of strain on your plantar fascia. If you are currently using a neutral shoe, try switching to a support shoe to see if that helps to alleviate your heel pain. Another option is to try using inserts in your current shoes, which might also help. The most important thing is to replace your shoes before they get worn out, as shoes cannot support your feet properly if their cushion is worn down.
4. A Podiatrist Can Help You Keep Running
If basic self-care tips, like stretching and reducing your training, do not get rid of your plantar fasciitis, then the best option is to visit a podiatrist. A professional can give you specific stretches or exercises to do to resolve the plantar fasciitis and prevent it from coming back. A podiatrist might also give you orthotics to use in your regular shoes to support your feet all day long.