You pride yourself on being in good shape, and you get out nearly every day and jog to maintain your health. There is one painful foot condition that can affect anyone. Plantar fasciitis can be the result of your exercise efforts, and the pain can be so severe that you can't get out of bed. Here is how to keep this foot problem from spoiling your daily run.
The Plantar Fascia
A small length of tissue, called the plantar fascia, connects your heel to the base of your toes on the bottom of your foot. This tissue provides stability to your foot and helps to hold the arch in place. If the plantar fascia becomes irritated, it will become swollen and painful. You may have one or all of the following symptoms:
- a burning feeling along the bottom of your foot
- a sharp pain when pressing on your heel or at the base of your toes
- severe pain when stepping down on your foot
- weakness in the foot that makes it collapse under you if you try to walk on it
The pain often occurs in the morning and can be so intense that you can't put weight on your foot when getting out of bed.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis
This condition can be caused by a number of running-related issues:
- poor warmup of the foot muscles before running
- stressing the foot by overworking it during exercise
- athletic shoes that rub against the bottom of your foot
Other causes include:
- weakened foot muscles due to an illness or injury
- weight gain which puts additional stress on the foot
Treating Plantar Fasciitis
Treatment focuses on reducing the inflammation. When the swelling goes down, so does the pain.
To treat an acute attack of this foot condition:
- hold an ice pack against the bottom of your foot for several minutes
- take an anti-inflammatory pain medication, such as ibuprofen
If you have frequent bouts of this painful condition, visit a podiatrist for more long term treatment recommendations, such as:
- physical therapy sessions to strengthen the muscles in the foot and protect the plantar fascia from irritation
- custom shoe inserts to support the bottom of your foot and relieve stress from the plantar fascia
Preventing Plantar Fasciitis
There are a few things you can do to prevent this painful condition from appearing.
- do stretching exercises with your feet to warm up the muscles before you run
- if the weather is cold, warm up your feet before stretching with a heating pad
- wear shoes that fit snug around your foot and don't rub against the bottom
- use an insert in your running shoe to support the bottom of your foot
For more information, contact ETL Podiatry or a similar location.