Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot ailments among runners. It usually begins as a tenderness or mild pain on the sole of your foot near the arch or heel. Gradually it becomes more severe and localizes to a spot under your heel that feels like a stone bruise or bone bruise. You'll find that your foot hurts first thing in the morning but feels better as it warms up during the day. You'll also notice the pain after you run.Causes
The plantar fascia is a ligamentlike tissue that runs from the ball of your foot along the arch and inserts into the heel bone. If you have flat feet or if you run with too much foot motion (overpronate), the plantar fascia becomes strained, with most of the stress occurring at the heel.Treatment
You need to either support your arch or lessen the amount of overpronation, or both. Running shoes with firmer midsoles generally will help, particularly motion-control shoes, which reduce overpronation. Over-the-counter orthotics or arch supports are usually effective, since they can provide that extra support you need. You can also tape your foot to support your arch and fascia. If you can run despite the plantar pain, massage the inflamed area of your foot with ice after running. If all else fails, get a custom orthotic device made by a physical therapist, podiatrist or orthopedist who's knowledgeable about running.Prevention
Stretch your calf muscles before and after running. If you overpronate, wear firmer, motion-control shoes to limit pronation.Can you run with it?
It depends on the severity of the pain. Generally, you can run with mild to moderate cases of plantar fasciitis.
Run The Planet thanks Running The World for the permission to reprint the article “Fourteen common foot ailments and their cures”. Text copyright © 2001 by Running The World.