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Plantar fasciitis is a common runner’s ailment. The planter fascia is a dense, connective tissue that runs from the heel to the toes and is responsible for supporting the arch of the foot—not unlike a shock absorber. When tension on this tissue increases, the painful result is plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis usually develops slowly, affects one foot and is most common among long distance runners. Knowing how to properly treat this unwelcome visitor can mean the difference between a long or relatively brief delay in your training.
Start treatment by running less. Cut speed and hill-climbing exercises.
Stop wearing those old running shoes. Worn running shoes are a potential cause of plantar fasciitis. Choose proper footwear if you are flat footed or have high arches.
Ice the area after every run for 10 minutes followed by a 10-minute break before reapplying ice for an additional 10 minutes. Take an anti-inflammatory if there is swelling.
Spend time stretching the calf muscles after waking and before running. Make calf stretching a regular, daily routine. Tight calf muscles can exacerbate the strain placed on the plantar fascia.
Consult a physical therapist for stretching routines that specifically focus on the plantar fascia, Achilles tendon and the muscles of the lower leg which support these areas.
Give the arches of the feet more support by wearing an arch strapping from first aid tape. Consult with a physical therapist for the proper method to apply strapping. Use arch supports in both shoes if arch strapping doesn’t provide enough relief.
Contact a podiatrist if pain persists. A podiatrist can order orthotics custom designed to the shape of your foot. Orthotics can more evenly distribute weight, diminishing the pressure placed on the plantar fascia.
Sleep with night splints attached to your leg. Night splints position the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon in an extended position, essentially in a stretched position, and can over time relieve tension placed on the plantar fascia.
Things You’ll Need
First aid tape, 1-inch wide