What it is:
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation in the plantar fascia. This is a thick and wide ligament stretching from the heel to the big toe ball. If it becomes overloaded, the fascia will be stretched too much and eventually breaks, causing an inflammation in it and in the tissue around.
It may start with a pain fixed in one point under the heel, often on the inside of the heel bone where the fascia is fixed. This pain often occurs in the morning, before the foot has been warmed up. It is typically painful to step on door sills and and to walk on hard surfaces, and the pain may increase if the big toe is bent upwards. There can also be a calcification on the point of the heel where the fascia is fixed.
- Pressure on, tightening and stretching of the plantar fascia.
- Runners with tight achilles tendons (which adds higher pressure on the fascia) or with high foot archs and rigid feet, or flat, overpronating feet, are more exposed for this.
- Worn out shoes which makes the foot overpronate, or too rigid shoes, which stretches the fascia, may also contribute to plantar fasciitis.
Treatment and recovery:
- First of all, reduce amount of running. Practise alternative training, such as running in water, bicycling and swimming.
- Use a roller for massage under the foot after having been active. A good tip is to fill a half litre plastic bottle with water and put it in the freezer. Wear a sock and roll your foot over the frozen bottle when needed. Then you will have a combination of the massage effect and the cooling effect the plantar fascia needs.
- Contact a professional for advice and coaching, possibly also to get a dynamic sole adapted for use in your running shoes.
- Stretch/bend your calf muscles, in particular the medial belly of the muscles.
- Stretch the muscles under your feet. Sit on the edge of your bed in the morning, put your toe ball on the floor and bend your knee over the toes, and make sure you feel the stretching under your feet. If there is a need, you will normally feel this stretching.
- Roll your foot over the mentioned frozen bottle, alternatively over a tennis ball.
- Toe lift on a roll See video here: Toe lift
- Use good running shoes and adapted dynamic soles if you are overpronating.
See more about running injuries, preventive exercises and videos here:
Author: Hege Erichsen