3 Tips For Running Injuries: Plantar Fasciitis
#1 Keep Footwear Consistent:
Given the mileage you run per week it is vital that you try to keep everything as consistent as possible to ensure there is no acute overload to your lower limb. Similar to advice on shin pain, changing your shoes often creates different loading patterns across the foot and has the potential to create an overload on the plantar fascia. Find a shoe that is comfortable and stick with it as much as you can. When it wears down find the same shoes if possible or find one with similar properties to it.
#2 Stretch the foot muscles:
Often stretching won’t be as beneficial as strengthening in most cases, however, it can provide some relief of plantar fasciitis symptoms. This can be done by stretching the muscles of the toes or even the calves where the the plantar fascia is lengthened. A belt can be used to pull your big toe towards you where you will get some immediate relief.
#3 Strengthen the Calf Muscles:
As we often speak about in our blogs, your calf muscles are the primary propulsion muscles of the lower limb and therefore need to be capable of withstanding repeated bouts of loading. By strengthening them it helps distribute ground reaction forces during running therefore, theoretically reducing the force being absorbed by the plantar fascia. Do a quick test for yourself. Can you complete 20+ single leg calf raises? Many often neglect the calf muscles when training however they should be a high priority to train especially as a runner. Single leg calf raises, skipping and bent knee calf raises are great ways of improving calf strength and helping to reduce the chance of getting plantar fasciitis.