Plantar fasciitis in a word is “painful” and limits walking and sports activities. It is caused by stress on the plantar fascia of the foot. Small tears develop along the connective tissue of the arch. This causes inflammation and pain often occurring in the heel of the foot. The pain is worse in the morning after sleeping, long periods of weight bearing and prolonged activity. If left untreated, plantar fasciitis can lead to progressive damage to the foot including heel spurs.
Runners and in particular marathon runners have a real challenge ahead of them preparing for a marathon while suffering with plantar fasciitis. Good supportive footwear is key, and the New Balance shoes with a soft cushioned heel, a pressure relief insert and significant arch support goes a long way in helping the runner cope with plantar fasciitis pain. Supportive shoes need to be worn all of the time to support the arch and cushion the heel. At night, the Strasburg sock, a type of night splint, helps decrease the pain in the morning for those first few steps of the day. Runners recommend soaking the foot in ice water four times a day or rolling the foot on a frozen bottle of ice. Ibuprofen helps to reduce pain and inflammation. Runners need to rest their foot for one to one and a half weeks to help heal the foot. Stretches, arch exercises and the hip flexor stretch help with pain and healing. Some runners roll the foot over a tennis or golf ball to stretch out the foot.
Proper shoes for plantar fasciitis like the New Balance with arch support as mentioned above can also prevent plantar fasciitis. Runners need to cross train with other sports activities to limit stress on the foot. One of the worse stresses for the feet is prolonged standing on hard surfaces so get a rubber mat to limit the pressure on them. It is important to keep a healthy weight and have good exercise habits by gradually increasing the intensity of exercises. Runners and other athletes need to stretch their Achilles tendon before a sports activity.