Running with Plantar Fasciitis

running and plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot injuries in runners. Exercising too regularly or too intense is often the cause. But also tight calf muscles can put further tension on the plantar fascia and lead to plantar fasciitis. Even old and worn out shoes or just the wrong shoe model for your foot type can be the culprit.

Whatever the cause of your heel pain, the first question you probably have is: Can I go running?

Unfortunately there is no quick answer for this question and it highly depends on the real cause of your plantar fasciitis (maybe your job requires you to be on your feet all day?) as well as how advanced it is. While most people tend to ignore the first signs of plantar fasciitis, this condition can be treated best when the treatment starts early. If you experience heel pain with the first step in the morning, but it goes away during the day, chances are you are developing plantar fasciitis. Luckily most people see a great improvement within a few weeks of proper treatment. 

Is it possible to run with Plantar Fasciitis?

It is possible, but you risk further injuries or even chronic plantar fasciitis. However, it depends on how severe your case of plantar fasciitis is. If you see great improvements and you are healing fast you might be able to do a test run and see how it goes. If you experience greater pain afterwards you might want to continue your treatment without running. If you are lucky and you can go running without any pain, take it slowly. You might want to gradually increase the intensity and length of your runs.

What to keep in mind when running with plantar fasciitis

How to avoid Plantar Fasciitis as a Runner

Your risk of getting plantar fasciitis is especially high when you are a regular runner. Even though we are told to always wear supportive shoes with great arch support to avoid injuries, you might want to consider to gradually introducing barefoot running or running with minimalistic shoes into your routine. Returning to a natural state and allowing our feet to become stronger by not giving them support is a great way to maintain healthy feet. This might also be a good strategy if you suffered from plantar fasciitis in the past and want to avoid it in the future. 

Plantar Fasciitis Taping: A Quick Guide

If you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, chances are that you are constantly looking for new methods to reduce the pain – as quickly as possible. While it’s very common for athletes to tape their feet to provide additional support, taping can also be a great way to provide instant relief for plantar fasciitis sufferers for as long as the tape remains on the foot. 

It is recommended to only use plantar fasciitis taping as part of a complete treatment plan. You should, however, generally consult a professional before integrating new procedures in your treatment. Some people should avoid taping plantar fasciitis at all (you find more information about this at the end of this article).

How to Tape Plantar Fasciitis

The following video by Gerry Bellows provides very good step by step guidance to properly taping your foot. Note that there are different ways to taping. Low dye taping, amongst others, is a very common method.

Not mentioned in the video but worth adding:

  • Always start out with dry and clean skin before starting to tape.
  • Avoid skin irritation such as blisters by smoothing the tape.
  • If your foot gets numb (during or after) you should remove the tape.
  • Make sure your foot is in a neutral position to start with (as shown at 0:53 minutes).

Disadvantages of Taping

Although the additional and firm support provides almost instant pain relief (usually after a few minutes) and may prevent further injuries during exercising, taping is not a treatment that will help eliminating your heel pain long term. Additionally you might experience irritation on your skin caused by the tape. Some people swear by duct tape, however, if your skin is sensitive I would strongly recommend athlete tape to avoid allergic reactions, blisters etc.

When taping plantar fasciitis is not such a great idea

  • Taping plantar fasciitis is generally only a good idea if you don’t experience any problems besides plantar fasciitis. However, if you have other injuries, for example fractures, you should seek the advice of a professional before you lay hands on your feet.
  • If you have allergies to athletic tape. If you tend to have a lot of allergic skin reactions in general I recommend to do a prior to taping your feet.
  • If you have one of the following conditions: circulatory problems and/or diabetes.

If you are looking for a complete treatment guide you might be interested in this article: How to Cure Plantar Fasciitis

What is your experience with plantar fasciitis taping so far? Let me know in the comment section below!

High Heels and…Foot Pain

It is no secret that men like women in a sexy pair of heels. Numerous studies have shown that high heels enhance a woman’s femininity by altering the way she walks. Her curves are emphasized; her legs appear to be longer. A study conducted at the University of Portsmouth found out that women are perceived more attractive by males and females when they wear high heels.

We ladies love wearing heels because it makes us feel confident, we feel more attractive – not only for the opposite sex but also for ourselves and, if we are completely honest, also to compete with other ladies out there.

Apparently women own an average of 17 pair of shoes (as you can read here). I myself own a lot more than just 17 pair, 15 of them have a heel of at least 3 inches. It’s just one of my guilty pleasures.

However, being more attractive comes with a price:

image

Just kidding. But consider this:

Wrong footwear can result in foot problems such as plantar fasciitis

I’m working in an office and meet important clients all day. I have to look my best all the time. Nice shoes are part of my outfit and also most of my days require me to wear heels. Every teenage girl gets told by her parents that flat shoes are always the better option and that high heels will cause damage to your feet sooner or later. Of course it’s true and every woman knows about this. Still, we tend to ignore it just for the sake of being more attractive (and we are also bound by society, of course). But who would blame us? Who doesn’t want to look their best? However, plantar fasciitis is just one of the many (bad) injuries you might experience when wearing heels for longer periods of time.

For those of you who are lucky and never had plantar fasciitis, here’s a definition for you:

“Plantar fasciitis is most frequently an acute or semi-acut injury and appears as a strain or partial rupture of the sturdy ligament that courses from the heel to the ball of the foot. Pain is in the middle of the heel, extending forward. The plantar fascia is a firm band of connective tissue on the bottom of the foot which is often called a ligament. It functions in maintaining the inside or medial arch.” (Reference)

However, it’s not only high heeled shoes that can cause problems. Also flats without any heel can cause damage. Ballet flats, for example, don’t provide any cushioning and if the muscles in your feet are already weak, walking barefoot and in flats is acutally worse than wearing a regular pair of sneakers. My advice is, if you already suffered from foot related problems such as high arches or flat feet, try to reduce the pressure on your heels and gradually strengthen your feet (Take a look at my post about plantar fasciitis shoes for more information.)

For some women the thought of not wearing heels hurts more than knowing that there is a chance of foot injury – until they actually experience it. It was the same for me until I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis for the very first time. I had to do stretches and exercises for months and I was lucky that I fully recovered. It taught me to think long-term. We have to take care of our feet and our health, and for that it’s worth it to slip into a pair of cool sneakers once in a while and just be more casual.

Are Flip Flops Bad for Feet?

For most of us flip flops are the number one footwear choice when going on vacation or in summer (Who likes wearing sneakers in summer anyways?). While most of us don’t even think about the impact they can have on our foot health, regular flip flops are actually one of the worst enemies to our feet. We walk very differently in flip flops than in supportive shoes or barefoot.

Can you imagine that wearing flip flops on a regular basis can result not only in foot problems, but also knee, hip and back pain? Who would have thought about that when summer is around and the sun is shining?

But bare with me. I’m not going to ruin your summer vacation. You can still wear open shoes to avoid injuries and foot problems, just make sure to purchase a pair of flip flops with a strap on the back and a thicker sole that provides more support, next time when you go shopping! For more information, check out the infographic about the impact of flip flops on your foot health published by HuffingtonPost below. 

It is no secret that the kind of shoes we wear influence how prone we are to experiencing certain foot injuries or inflammations such as plantar fasciitis. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, I recommend taking a look at my detailed article with reviews of the best plantar fasciitis shoes that help to stabilize your feet and reduce your heel pain.

Plantar Fasciitis Flip Flops
Infographic by HuffingtonPost.

(Source: mediagrams)

Find the right Footwear for Plantar Fasciitis

When walking into a shoe store the sheer amount of different types of shoes can be quite overwhelming. You’re in pain and all you wished for is just a pair that will give you relief, am I right?

running shoe for plantar fasciitis

The following 8 short guidelines are meant to help you making the right choice for healthy feet! So let’s get right into it!

  1. The shoe size must fit comfortably at the end of the day (feet are slightly bigger at the end of the day).
  2. Choose the right model for your foot type. Ask your podiatrist. He or she will be able to inform you about your foot type (meaning if you are a supinator, a pronator or neutral)
  3. Shoes should have a low heel. Prefer open toe shoes for a much better comfortable fit.
  4. Use motion control athletic shoe which won’t bend or twist readily in the middle and will bend in the toes where the foot bends.
  5. Prefer shoes with cushioned, flexible midsoles that absorb the impact of your walking or running.
  6. Wear a shoe with a solid heel cup to keep your heel steady while you walk. There should be a firm hold of the shoe to your heel. Your heel should not move inside the shoe as you walk or run. Shoes should be replaced by you regularly whenever they can be worn out to ensure the maximum shock absorption.
  7. A good pair should have soles that are shock absorbing, (chose rubber over leather)
  8. You don’t necessarily pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars to get the best plantar fasciitis shoes.

The right shoes for you won’t cause pain after wearing them for a long time. You should not feel uncomfortable with your shoes but keep in mind that you are searching for both comfort and support. Sometimes themost shoe that is comfortable is not the best shoe for you. 

A good pair of shoes is a very important part of the treatment but that is not enough. Your shoes is not going to solve the issue. You should go on looking for more treatment and self-attention techniques. Be patient and consistent relief will follow.

I think I have Plantar Fasciitis. Can I go jogging?

I would suggest cutting speed work out for a while as it is the number one trigger for Plantar Fasciitis. Slow jogging will not hurt it will help keep your feet strong. This is necessary because the scar tissue will prevent it completely. Icing can reduce inflammation which also supports healing. Another significant piece of the healing would be to discharge stress on the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is interconnected with a complete system that makes your foot and leg stretch. The calf is a significant part this, and if your calves are tight then you may have high stress. Stretching the calf gently several times a day will help alleviate strain. It is also possible to make the plantar fascia itself more elastic by gradually stretching your toes up or rolling your foot on a tennis/golf ball. Also make sure to wear good shoes for plantar fasciitis as they provide extra support for your arch.

One last choice that will help is the Strassburg sock or a night splint. Most of us sleep with our feet which gives a lot of slack to the plantar fascia and it shrinks overnight. We take our first step with the foot cold, and it puts enough stress on the fascia to cause more micro-tears. These devices keep the foot flexed which prevents this situation.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a common source of heel pain, specifically in runners or other people who must be on their feet for long periods of time. It is relatively easy to be rid of, once plantar fasciitis sets in. With arch support and the proper exercises, particularly a change of shoes, plantar fasciitis can evaporate just as abruptly as it set in.

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the band of tissue connecting the heel to the toe and running along the underside of your foot becomes inflamed. Usually, the band of the plantar fascia, or tissue, acts as a shock absorber for the foot with every step. The tissue is under undue tension or becomes overstressed, the tissue swell and will tear. Obesity, level-footedness, certain kinds of exercise for example dancing or running, long intervals or standing or walking time, and improper shoes can cause anxiety or stress.

A telltale sign of plantar fasciitis is a stabbing pain in the arch or heel. The pain generally subsides, your foot limbers up. But without treatment or attention, the pain will only grow worse and could cause other foot, knee, hip or back problems, finally altering the way that you walk.

Footwear for Plantar Fasciitis

Your shoes play a vital function as it pertains to plantar fasciitis. Open-toed shoes such as sandals or flip flops, high heels, or any shoe without arch support can bring to much of the tension on your own feet, particularly if worn at all times. To lessen the danger of plantar fasciitis, wear shoes with proper arch support. They’re going to survive longer and be more forgiving in your feet, although they generally have a tendency to be much more expensive. The finest and most comfy plantar fasciitis shoes are running shoes that are straightforward, although these have a tendency to lose their support after a while and will have to be replaced.

If you must wear shoes which are not irregular or you just do not like the appearance of arched shoes, you can get an over-the-counter arch insert or drugstore. They will generally help keep you and relieve the tension.

Very informative article! If you want to cure plantar fasciitis it is essential to first understand the anatomy of your foot and the real cause of the problem. 

(Source: thegaitguys)