Plantar Fasciitis in runners

Running is enjoyed by millions of people across the globe. As a form of exercise, it helps increase vital stamina and strength levels. Running also improves respiratory performance, while effectively shedding those unwanted pounds. Whether you want to shape and tone your legs or increase endurance, nothing is more effective than running or walking. In addition to improving your cardiovascular and energy levels, this form of exercise targets all your problem areas. One problem, however, that can be unforeseen in plantar fasciitis. This common foot ailment affects millions of people around the world. If not treated in a timely and professional manner, it can result in irreparable harm and damage to your foot.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia is overused. This is the connective tissue at the bottom of the feet. When inflamed due to sports injuries, walking, and especially running, the pain radiates throughout the arch tend of the foot. In some cases a heel spur may develop.The pain is excruciating, and can lead to severe immobility for many sufferers. If not treated via medicine, injections, or even surgery, PF can make walking or maintaining proper balance difficult. Over the years, foot experts and podiatrists have conducted intricate research to pinpoint the origins of plantar fasciitis. According to medical reports and journals, PF may be hereditary in some people. For most sufferers, however, it is simply caused by flat feet, along with injuries to the tendons and ligaments.

Heel pain and running

Since running is a high impact exercise, it tends to affect every part of the body. The same can also be said for speed walking. While falling down or flat feet are triggers for plantar fasciitis, running is a very strong culprit. Excessive walking or wearing poorly fitted shoes are also common causes of PF in runners. People suffering from this common foot problem experience varying degrees of pain. They also tend to suffer from inflammation and swelling. According to leading foot experts, however, PF is more degenerative in nature than inflammatory. With over two million Americans afflicted with PF, experts believe this condition will continue to be an obstacle for many runners.

Treatment Options

For runners and athletes suffering from plantar fasciitis, treatment options are available. According to leading podiatrists, wearing the right shoes or orthotics can definitely help. While there is no actual cure for PF, the right insoles can prevent plantar fasciitis and other foot issues from occurring. This is especially helpful for runners, since they are consistently on their feet. In addition to athletic orthotics, elevating the feet and getting plenty of rest is vital. With adequate rest, the tendons, ligaments, and muscles will ultimately heal on their own. Sufficient rest also results in better circulation, which will restore proper functionality and mobility to the feet. There are also therapeutic massages that can replenish your strength, while increasing flexibility in the feet and soles.

Other Treatment Options

Depending on the severity of your PF, there are other treatment options for runners. This includes daily stretching, which refortifies the muscles as a whole. Night splints are also a good way to keep your toes and feet aligned. Remember, flat and imbalanced feet often result in unbearable pain. Like plantar, these issues need to be dealt with in a timely manner. By wearing night splints, you can effectively balance out the feet while getting proper rest as well. Podiatrists also recommend both ice and heat therapies for pain or swelling. Anti-inflammatory medicine, corticosteroid shots, and even surgery can be implemented to help alleviate the pain and tension. When running, doctors recommend smaller and shorter strides. This will prevent your feet and legs from hurting, while preparing the body for the impact associated with running.

The Risks of Surgical Procedures

Surgery should always be the last option for runners with PF. While your podiatrist or foot doctor with determine the right path of treatment, always get a second or third opinion if surgery is discussed. While surgical procedures are important in many cases, these operations can cause irreparable harm and damage to the feet. This includes prolonged infections, as well as nerve damage. In worse case scenarios, plantar fascia ruptures can occur. This is the equivalent of damaging your Achilles tendon—pain wise. While not surgical in nature, corporeal shockwave therapy has helped countless individuals suffering from PF. This therapy is designed to stimulate the damaged tendons, muscles, and ligaments that surround or are connected to the fascia.

Never Ignore the Pain

Heel pain can result from a number of factors. This includes wearing tight shoes, along with daily chores and activities. While nearly everyone experiences heel pain, not all of them have PF. Still, consistent heel pain should never be ignored. In fact, this is usually the first sign that something is afoot. Like most runners, however, heel pain simply comes with the territory. This is due to constant impact, which is common in running or jogging. While normal pain will eventually subside, chronic pain requires immediate medical attention. This is especially true if you can no longer put your full body weight on the feet. If this is not the issue but you are still experiencing pain, chances are you have developed plantar fasciitis.

Professional Diagnosis

Runners are very athletic and independent in nature. As a result, most tend to ignore foot problems before it gets too late. If you love to run but are tired of the pain and tension, simply visit your local foot specialist. With years of extensive industry experience, podiatrists have the tools and expertise to solve your heel pain. With a professional diagnosis, they will implement strategic plans of action to help remedy your ailment. This includes medication, along with foot inserts and even topical creams. With so many treatment options available, it is possible to counter the effects and symptoms of plantar fasciitis. For more information on PF and viable treatment options, speak to your primary care physician today. He or she will be able to connect you with industry leading podiatrists that are ready to help you now.

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