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Training for Warmer Weather: Running with Plantar Fasciitis

Posted on: February 21st, 2019 by REP Physio
Running with plantar fasciitis

Whether you’re training for a race, triathlon or wanting to be active with the kids, now is the perfect time to start preparing for your spring and summer activities. Don’t let plantar fasciitis stop you from achieving your goals! 

The plantar fascia is a dense, multi-layered fibrous connective tissue that originates from the calcaneus (heel bone) and extends towards the toes. Too much loading of the foot without adequate rest and recovery can result in fasciitis (inflammation of the fascia). Symptoms can include pain at the heel, increased sensitivity in the toes, and limited range of motion often worse in the morning. If you experience discomfort related to this condition, you aren’t alone! Plantar fasciitis is a common condition which affects 10% of the general population. 

There are various treatment options for this condition such as functional dry needling, taping, and night splinting. However, research suggests that some of the best treatment options include strengthening and stretching exercises. Below are a few that you can try before and after activity to help ease your pain!

  1. Ice Rolling
    • Freeze water in a water bottle and roll the sole of your foot along the bottle back and forth for about 1 minute focusing primarily on the heel
    • Repeat as needed
  2. Calf and Achilles Tendon Massage
    • Like the fascia, our Achilles tendon also attaches at the heel. Addressing the Achilles tendon and releasing a shortened or “tight” calf can help alleviate some of the pain associated with plantar fascia
    • Place a tennis ball, massage ball, or lacrosse ball under your calf and roll back and forth hesitating on those achy points allowing the stiffness to melt away
    • Alternative option is to roll out using a foam roller

Other considerations include footwear and running biomechanics. How stiff or how flexible a shoe is can make a significant difference in your pain and performance!  In addition to footwear, try your best to avoid a heel strike dominant stride and aim for more of a mid-foot strike instead. If your symptoms persist and you are seeking out myofascial release or more advanced treatment options, book in with a physiotherapist here at REP Physio. Happy running! 

References:

Shah, R. D., & Varadharajulu, G. (2018). Effect of Myofascial Release as an Adjunct Treatment to Conventional Physiotherapy in Plantar Fasciitis. Indian Journal of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy – An International Journal, 12(3), 54. doi:10.5958/0973-5674.2018.00056.4

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