Don’t Let Foot Pain Hamper Your Running Season

Tips to Prevent Plantar Fasciitis

Whether you enjoy an outdoor fitness routine, or you are an active marathoner, running season is here. So, it is time to lace up your favorite sneakers and hit the road. Although you may pace yourself carefully during the frequent spring showers, or on yet-to-melt icy sections of the road, what may actually hinder a smooth run is a foot condition, called plantar fasciitis. 

A disorder of the plantar fascia tissue that links your heel to your toes, plantar fasciitis may cause a dull ache or sharp pain in the heel of your foot. This usually occurs when you wake up and get out of bed, or during the day, after long periods of sitting or standing. Although the pain fades away as the day progresses, you may feel extreme recurring discomfort while running or climbing stairs. The risk factors for this condition include age, obesity, foot mechanics and footwear. However, running on hard surfaces could also cause plantar fasciitis, and lead to unnecessary interruptions in your running season. Read on to know how you can prevent this from happening.

Tips for Runners to Prevent Plantar Fasciitis 

When it comes to outdoor running, the distance you cover, the type of shoes you wear, and your foot structure are the three main factors that may lead to stress or tears in your plantar fascia. You may also aggravate plantar fasciitis by overtraining or neglecting to stretch your calf muscles. If this condition is diagnosed and treated early, you may be able to avoid a complete halt to your running schedule. Here are some ways to prevent it from happening. 

  1. Wear the Right Footwear: If your running shoes are overused or worn, invest in a new, high-quality pair that cushions the ankle and offers good arch support.  Take into account your foot structure, such as flat feet and high arches and foot mechanics, such as over or under pronation (rolling of feet excessively inward or outward while running). Invest in orthotic support in your shoes, if recommended.
  2. Stretching and Exercising: The most successful way to avoid plantar fasciitis is by lengthening, strengthening and supporting your plantar fascia properly. Selecting the right shoes will provide the necessary foot support, while building these exercises into your daily routine will lengthen and strengthen the ligament, and prevent it from being stressed. 
    1. Foot Writing: When you wake up in the morning, before you get out of bed, work your ankle to write the alphabet.
    2. Towel Grab: Place a towel on a smooth, leveled floor and tug at both ends using your toes and feet. Do this twice daily, for two minutes at a time.
    3. Calf Stretching: Extend your toes and stretch your calves while resting yourself against a wall. You can do this up to 6 times a day, for 60 seconds each time.
    4. Toe Pull: Extend your big toe and repeat this movement in a seated position as often as you can during the day.

Despite all the preventive measures, if you are struck down by plantar fasciitis, don’t be disappointed. While you may have to give up hard-surface running temporarily, regular physical therapy treatments will get you back up and on the road in no time. For comprehensive diagnostics and treatments in and around Philadelphia or the Greater Philadelphia Area, rely on the licensed professionals at Medical Rehabilitation Centers of Pennsylvania (MRCP). Our experienced physical therapists are trained in the latest physical therapy techniques and focus on speedy recovery, through pain relief and mobility improvement.

Don’t let plantar fasciitis interrupt your entire running season. Book an appointment for physical therapy treatment today. Contact us at the location of your choice or complete our online form and we will get back to you soon. 

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