Updated: Nov 22, 2020
Hello again fellow exercise enthusiasts!
We are back again with another set of tips to help you prevent some common injuries associated with running.
Plantar Fasciitis is a quite common condition where considerable pain is felt on the part of the heel closest to the toes and continues into the arch. Pain gets worse with weight bearing, especially first thing in the morning or after long periods of sitting. Pain can be felt especially during the toe off phase of running and walking as the tension in the fascia is increased during these times. We will discuss two of the more common causes here.
Weak or tight gastrocnemius/soleus complex
Weak or tight muscles of the sole of the foot
If we look at the attachment site of the calf muscles via the Achilles tendon, we see that it attaches at the same place as the plantar fascia, the calcaneus (heel). These two structures are not completely independent of each other. So, if one is tight it will in turn pull on the other. During running we use our calf muscles for every step, so they can get tired very quickly if they are not conditioned well. A tired muscle turns into a tight muscle. A tight calf muscle pulls on the Achilles tendon which in turn pulls on the plantar fascia. Tight plantar fascia causes pain at its attachment sites. Regular stretching, myofascial release, and endurance training of the gastrocnemius/soleus complex will ultimately help to prevent unnecessary stress to the attached plantar fascia.
The small muscles on the bottom of the foot help tremendously to stabilize the arch and evenly distribute our weight during walking and running. These muscles can become exhausted with repetitive running and without support. Consider adding some plantar exercises into your regimen to strengthen the bottom of your foot.
Rest is always a good plan while nursing an injury, TAKE A FEW DAYS OFF if the pain is persistent. A great recovery tool for plantar fasciitis is freezing a water bottle and rolling the bottom of your feet with it!!! This helps with inflammation and myofascial release.
There is also always the outside possibility that you may have developed a stress fracture in one of the bones of your foot or a bone spur has begun in your heel. If pain persists after attempting some of these strategies, please consider seeing a physician to rule out bone related injuries.
Contact us for an evaluation or treatment / rehab session!
The Limitless Therapy Services Team