How Runners Can Prevent and Treat Plantar Fasciitis

How Runners Can Prevent and Treat Plantar Fasciitis

By Nordic Balance

podiatrist Monica LimaA common condition among runners, Plantar Fasciitis, is caused by repetitive strain on the thick band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes (known as the plantar fascia). It can cause pain in your heel or arch when walking or running. The pain can be sharp or dull and may worsen after exercising or walking. In this article, we provide top tips from Physiotherapist JV and Podiatrist Monica Lima on how runners can prevent and treat Plantar Fasciitis if and when it arises.


What are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?


The most common Plantar Fasciitis symptom is a sharp heel or arch pain when walking or running. 


Other symptoms may include stiffness in the bottom of your foot, swelling, redness, and tenderness on the bottom of your foot near your heel.


If you think you may have Plantar Fasciitis, please seek a professional diagnosis. This article is intended as a helpful guide.


How Runners Can Prevent and Treat Plantar Fasciitis – Our Top Tips


Approved by our superstar Physiotherapist JV and Pdiatrust Monica Lima, we offer our top tips on how runners can try to prevent Plantar Fasciitis and how to treat it if it arises.


Support Your Feet


The right footwear is essential. The best way to prevent plantar fasciitis is by supporting your feet properly with supportive shoes and arch supports. The right shoes will provide cushioning and arch support, reducing stress on your feet when running or walking. Additionally, you may want to invest in custom orthotics. 


A biomechanical assessment of the foot and gait analysis can also help identify individuals who would benefit from orthotic intervention, and footwear advice can be provided. An investment worth making from the beginning!


Warm Up Before a Run


Next, it’s time warm up the body. Spend at least 5 minutes warming up. Focus on dynamic stretches that activate hip flexors, quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, as these will help prepare them for impact during running activity. 


And, of course, be sure to include some plantar fascia stretches. 


Daily Conditioning Exercises


Stretching exercises can also help reduce the risk of developing plantar fasciitis. 


A few commonly-used stretches include the towel flexor, standing calf stretch, wall press flexor, and seated stretch. The towel flexor stretch involves looping a towel around your foot and pulling gently upward to create a downward pull on your plantar fascia ligament.


For the standing calf stretch, you’ll want to stand facing a wall while keeping your heels flat on the ground. Next, toe walks towards the wall while keeping your heel on the ground until you feel a mild pull in your arch. 


The wall press flexor requires you to lie on your stomach with one leg pressed against a wall to push into it and feel resistance in the plantar of that foot. 


Lastly, for the seated stretch, you should sit comfortably with both legs outstretched straight in front of you and wrap a cloth band or belt around one foot before lightly pulling its ends with both hands for 10-15 seconds at a time.


Careful when changing your training environment


If you’re used to repeatedly running on the same route, a sudden change can trigger an injury such as Plantar Fasciitis. For instance, we commonly see patients having an onset of plantar fasciitis when going on a beach holiday and walking/running barefoot or with flip-flops on the soft sand.


In this last case, our advice would be to limit how far you’ll be walking/running in the first days to let a chance to your body to adapt to this new environment.


Treating Plantar Fasciitis


If you have Plantar Fasciitis, there are still ways you can keep running without making it worse. 


Start gently with short runs and gradually build up over time as your body adjusts to the activity again. 


Make sure that you wear supportive shoes that fit properly. Cushioning, such as insoles, can also help reduce pressure on your feet while running.


Additionally, follow the earlier advice and ensure you warm up before any run and always stretch after each session to further reduce tension on your feet from running.


Cross-Train Regularly


Cross-training helps strengthen different muscles and ligaments that might not be used during regular runs or other exercises. This can help prevent injuries from overuse or repetitive movements and keep things fresh and interesting! 


Cross-training activities like cycling or swimming are great options for maintaining overall fitness without putting too much strain on your feet and legs.


Ice After Running


Ice is a great way to reduce inflammation after your runs and help with pain relief.


Try icing your feet for 15 minutes after each run to reduce inflammation in the affected area and speed up the recovery time from any existing injuries you may have had before taking preventive measures against Plantar Fasciitis.


Should I stop running with Plantar Fasciitis?


It depends on how severe your pain is, but resting for 1-2 weeks should be enough for mild cases.


It could take up to 6 weeks for more serious cases before you can resume regular activity, depending on what treatments have been recommended by medical professionals.


If you experience sharp pain, stop immediately and seek advice from a medical professional about treatment options for Plantar Fasciitis.


Treatment Options for Plantar Fasciitis


As always, prevention is the best cure. But if you are experiencing sharp or persistent pain, it may be time to seek professional medical advice from a physiotherapist or podiatrist to check for other underlying issues. The earlier the treatment starts, the better the outcome, so don’t delay!


Cutting-edge technology like Radial Shockwave Therapy has also been proven to have amazing results in the fast recovery of Plantar Fasciitis. It stimulates the blood flow and thus increases the healing and recovery – allowing you to return to running sooner. Learn more about Shockwave therapy here.


About Nordic Balance


Nordic Balance offers 5-star-rated physiotherapy clinics in St James’s, Central London, Wimbledon and Clapham. For more information about the range of treatments, including physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic, podiatry and sports massage, contact us.


Related Topics


This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Error: No feed with the ID 3 found.

Please go to the Instagram Feed settings page to create a feed.

Other Articles You Might Like to Read

August 5th 2020

Guide to Prehababilitation Treatments For Runners

strong Prehabilitation treatments for runners strong can help prevent injuries and increase performance 'Prehab' is commonly referred to as a comprehensive program of exercises and activities designed to address muscle imbalances and improve flexibility and condition-specific muscles before engaging in running activities Written by Osteopathy Marco Antonetto we explore specific...


August 5th 2020

5 Tips to Reduce the Risk of Running Injuries

It is normal as a runner to experience some pain at some point What is not normal is when this pain becomes chronic or a recurrent injury The current medical evidence suggests that almost half of non-professional runners get a recurrent injury mainly affecting their knees calves and ankles In...


August 5th 2020

11 Ergonomic Tips for Setting Up Your Home Workspace

Are you working from home By now your back shoulders are probably feeling the effects of those long hours sitting hunched over your laptop at the kitchen table nbsp Working in an unsupported set-up will eventually take its toll on your body Understanding the importance of setting up your home...


Loading, Please wait...