Any type of injury or pain to your foot is going to be disastrous for runners. The worst will always spring to mind – “What if I can never run again?!” However, as a regular runner, it’s likely you’re going to experience some type of foot pain over the years. One of the most common is plantar fasciitis – which can be both painful and limiting. Let’s take a look at what plantar fasciitis is, how it can be treated, and how runners can cope with the condition.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Put simply, plantar fasciitis means inflammation of your plantar fascia. Makes sense! This is the part of your foot that stretches from the heel to the middle foot bone, a bit like a ligament. Not only does it support the arch in your foot, but it acts as a kind of shock absorber. You’ll find that it’s quite common for those who run frequently. Especially if you’ve recently changed running surface or aren’t wearing shoes with proper arch support. You’ll find that the main symptom of this condition is the pain. A lot of pain! It can be tender to walk on, particularly first thing in the morning. As for running? Well, it seems like that would be out of the question for some time.
Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
For most people with plantar fasciitis, the pain tends to ease itself in time. A doctor will likely tell you to keep your foot rested, to allow for it to heal itself. This definitely means avoiding running for quite some time. You may also want to avoid extended periods of standing, which could be pretty difficult if you have an active job. Your doctor may ask you to take some time off work if this is the case. While time is the main healer, other treatment options include:
- The right footwear – There are specific shoes for plantar fasciitis that come with extra support for your foot arch. Wearing the right footwear will speed up the healing time, while also helping prevent the same from happening.
- Painkillers – You’re also going to want to stock up on pain relief, to get you through the tenderness. Ibuprofen can also help reduce the swelling and inflammation.
- Ice packs – Grab yourself a bag of frozen peas, wrap them in a tea towel and place on your foot for around 15-20 minutes. This will help reduce both the pain and the swelling.
- Different light exercises – Your doctor may recommend some light exercising, to help the healing process. He or she may also suggest that you see a physiotherapist for more in-depth treatment.
Suffering from plantar fasciitis can be a stressful time for anyone; especially those who live for running (like me). If you ever feel pain in your foot or any kind of tenderness while running, make sure you stop immediately and get it checked out. You don’t want to cause further damage by just leaving it! Your doctor can then diagnose what’s wrong and get you back on the running track in no time.