What is it?
Plantar Fasciitis one of the most common causes of pain in the heel and the bottom of the foot. Previously, Plantar Fasciitis was always thought to have been an inflammatory condition. Recent evidence suggests it is non-inflammatory and should be called Plantar Fasciosis. Pain is thought to be caused by small tears in the collagen which makes up the plantar fascia, leading to scarring.
Sharp pains in the heel are often reported on weightbearing. Symptoms are often worse after long periods of rest, typically when getting out of bed in the morning. Discomfort eases after continual walking but a tightness in the calf muscles are typically reported, with an inability to 'toe off' when walking and/or running.
Why would I suffer with this?
Plantar Fasciitis is usually one sided and can occur for a number of reasons in runners, these include:
# A sudden increase in mileage
# Poor supporting footwear
# Starting speedwork
# Excessive pronation
# A high or low medial arch of the foot
What you can do to help yourself
It is important you stop running, and any activities that cause pain, otherwise there will be further damage occurring to the plantar fascia. Your healthcare practitioner will be able to work with you to identfy the predisposing and maintaining factors to your heel and foot pain. You might like to consider:
# Changing your trainers to suit your running style, particularly if you have a high or low medial arch in your foot
# Stretches and foam rolling to your calf and Hamstrings muscles
# An orthotic if there is excessive over pronation
# Swimming and cycling to maintain cardiovascular fitness
# Address any hip and knee imbalances
# Soft tissue massage
Whilst unable to run, put your focus into other areas of training, such as flexibility, strength conditioning and core stability exercises. Your running will greatly benefit from cross training, making you more energy efficient. Your return to running must be gradual and progressive and avoid any speed work or hill training until you are 100% free from injury.