If you’ve been chalking up the miles lately only to get stopped by foot pain, it’s tempting to try to ignore it and keep on running. Powering through pain is a common problem with athletes, but it can cause more harm than good.
Instead, stop and evaluate your foot problem immediately, especially if it involves plantar fasciitis.
At Premier Foot and Ankle Center, you can find the expert care you need as an athlete — and that goes for weekend warriors, too. Our talented providers have the skills to diagnose, manage, and even prevent sports injuries, so you can spend more time in the game than on the bench.
If you have plantar fasciitis, here’s what you need to know about running.
Recognizing plantar fasciitis
Do you feel pain as soon as your foot hits the ground in the morning? Or a startling stab of pain when you push off during a run? These are a few telltale signs of plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is a common problem, especially for people who spend a lot of time on their feet. That’s because it involves the tendon that connects the front of your foot to your heel, providing support and shock absorption when you walk.
As you might imagine, you put a lot of demands on this part of your body on a daily basis. Yet, it often functions without complaint, until you demand a bit too much of it, leading to damage and tiny tears. When that occurs, pain can strike in the bottom of the heel or midfoot area.
Common causes of plantar fasciitis include:
- Being overweight or obese
- Spending a lot of time on your feet
- Having structural issues, like flat feet or high arches
- Having tight Achilles tendons
- Wearing footwear with soft soles and poor arch support
- Having improper or worn-out running shoes
It’s also a very common problem for active people ages 40-70, especially long-distance runners and those who increase their miles too quickly, don’t stretch properly, or overdo speed intervals and hill workouts.
To run or not to run with plantar fasciitis
No one wants to take a break from training. Fortunately, you may not have to if you have plantar fasciitis. But ignoring the problem can cause it to worsen. Instead, you need to take action the moment you feel pain.
We recommend that you:
- Reduce swelling by applying ice to the bottom of your foot
- Massage the ligament by rolling your foot against a golf ball
- Stretch your calf muscles, plantar fascia, and Achilles tendons daily
- Warm up for at least five minutes before any physical activity
- Assess and replace your running shoes
If you have severe pain and symptoms don’t respond to these approaches, it’s time to stop running and see an expert.
Treating plantar fasciitis
We can evaluate your condition and perform diagnostic imaging to determine the extent of inflammation and tears. We can also rule out other causes of heel pain, like bone spurs.
Once we have a complete picture of your condition, we outline a personalized treatment strategy, such as:
- Anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving medications
- Physical therapy and strength training
- Custom-made orthotics
- Targeted steroid injections
- Surgery to relieve tension and inflammation
In addition to treating your plantar fasciitis, we can also provide guidance on returning to running safely so you can avoid reinjury or recurring problems.
Do you have plantar fasciitis? Don’t miss a run. Instead, get expert care at Premier Foot and Ankle Center today. Call us or request an appointment here. Our offices are located in Webster and Worcester, Massachusetts.