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How To Recover From Plantar Fasciitis and Never Suffer It Again

By on Jul 12, 2014
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There’s no doubt about it. If you’ve ever suffered from plantar fasciitis, you won’t forget it in a hurry. It’s painful. It’s frustrating. And, more than anything, it can involve a lengthy lay-off from running.

In today’s featured video below, courtesy of Runner’s World, the focus is on my least favourite injury: plantar fasciitis. What the injury really is, how to avoid suffering the injury in the first place, and what you need to do to recover if you are unfortunate enough to pick up the injury.

Plantar fasciitis: Signs and causes

As Dr Jordan Metzl outlines in the video, there are a few classic signs of the injury that any former sufferer will recognise. There’s the pain in the heel – something that is particularly pronounced first thing in the morning. And you’ll struggle to push off if you do try to run.

Then there are the causes. Typically you need to look beyond the foot, with a common culprit being the tightness of runners’ calf muscles.

Recovery from plantar fasciitis

As for rehabiitation from plantar fasciitis, well, that’s rarely plain sailing. It takes time (particularly given the lack of blood supply in that area of the body).

But there are things you can do to speed plantar fasciitis recovery.

  • First, you can take steps to reduce swelling. That might be as simple as using ice. Anti-inflammatory medicines might help as well. And some runners resort to cortisone injections and platelet-rich plasma treatment.
  • Next on the list is stretching. Loosening those calf muscles is typically key, for example through a classic scalf stretch that targets the soleus muscle or through foam rolling. Loosening the fascia itself can also help, which is where some of the odder (but effective) treatments come in, such as rolling your foot over a golf ball.

Prevention of plantar fasciitis

The most important step, though, is undoubtedly prevention. Given how persistent and troubling the injury can be, the priority for runners has to be avoiding plantar fasciitis in the first place.

The heart of any attempt to prevent the injury is strength training. That can be supported by the introduction of some barefoot running, with the goal of strengthening your midfoot and plantar fascia. Simply wearing a less supportive shoe now and again can help in that respect.

Finally, and perhaps not surprisingly, there’s the fundamental issue of how you run. Fix your running form – which in many cases will include shortening your stride and increasing your cadence – and you’ll have taken a major step towards bullet-proofing your body against this, the most frustrating of injuries.

Click here for further Ask The Expert videos in this series.

Source: Image by happyfeet34

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