Plantar Fasciitis is the inflammation of the connective tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot. This can often result in calcium deposits around the heel, also called heel spurs. These are common running injuries that hamper many runners.
The motion of running places quite a bit of strain in these ligaments of the foot and the over-straining will cause swelling and pain.
There are many ways to reduce the chances of this injury or treat it if you feel the on-set of pain.
Below are some good preventative measures or treatments for minor pain.
Preventative Measures or Treatments
- Toe curls
This is a simple yet effective way to strengthen the ligament that runs from your heel to the front pad of your foot. By strengthening the muscles on the bottom of your foot, you’ll add some push-off force to your stride and reduce the chances of getting plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. Toe curls are simply done by pulling your toes down as if trying to make a foot fist. Hold each down for 2-3 seconds and release. Start with 10-20 repetitions on each foot. You can do these while lying in bed or watching TV, or even at your desk at work.
- Arch Supports:
Those with flat feet are especially susceptible to fasciitis. Try wearing shoes that offer some additional arch support to the bottoms of your feet. This can reduce the strain on these ligaments and the inflammation.
- Weight Loss:
No one wants to hear it, but added body weight places added stresses and strains on everything that we do. Our feet are doing a lot of work when we run, as they roll off the ground with each step and push off. When we lose weight, we greatly reduce the stresses on our joints and ligaments and therefore reduce the chance of this and other running-related injuries.
- Rest / Ice / Anti-Inflammatory
If you start to feel pain on the bottom of your feet after running, try icing the area, resting, and the use of anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce the pain and swelling.
While the measures above are some effective home remedies for minor Plantar Fasciitis and heel spur symptoms, more severe or persistent pains should be addressed by professional medical consultation.
The products below have been recommended by friends in the running community as effective ligament strengthening tools.
Best of luck and Happy Running!
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