4 Ways Runners Can Combat Plantar Fasciitis

Posted on: 14 May 2019


Many runners have felt the tell-tale sign of plantar fasciitis: a nagging ache in the heel that is worse first thing in the morning. This condition occurs when the repeated impact of running puts too much strain on the plantar fascia, the connective tissue that extends along the bottom of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is notoriously difficult to overcome, but these four tips can help you beat the odds.

1. Rest and Recover

Running hard every day is sure to lead to injury. You need to give your body the opportunity to recover in between your training sessions. Most experienced runners need at least one day off for every seven to 10 days of running.

If you are less experienced, you might need two rest days every week. Beware of taking more than two rest days per week, as this could lead to trying to pack too many miles into too few runs. Instead, focus on keeping some of your runs easy and short to reduce the strain on your body.

2. Stretch Whenever You Can

Calf stretching is one of the most effective treatments for plantar fasciitis. Stretching the arch muscle can also help. Perform these stretches two or three times a day to keep your calf and foot muscles loose.

You could set an alarm to remind you to stretch. Another option is to do the stretches after an activity that is already part of your daily routine, such as brushing your teeth.

3. Replace Your Running Shoes

Running in worn-out shoes puts you at high risk of plantar fasciitis. The repeated pounding of your feet on the road breaks down the padding in your shoes until they can no longer protect your feet. If your shoes are looking a little worse for wear, it is time to visit a running store for a new pair that will give you the support you deserve.

4. See a Podiatrist

For some runners, a supportive pair of running shoes is not enough to keep plantar fasciitis at bay. To beat this condition, consult a podiatrist who can prescribe custom orthotic inserts to give your foot the support it needs while you run. You might also need to wear the inserts in your everyday shoes to take the strain off the injured tissue.

Podiatrists can also recommend exercises that can strengthen your feet to prevent plantar fasciitis from coming back. Every runner should have a good podiatrist on whom they can call whenever a foot injury strikes.