Don’t Let This Painful Foot Condition Keep You Out Of The Race

You love to run and you make time in your schedule for marathons and charity races. Your feet are your greatest asset and if they give you problems, you're out of the race. Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that can keep you from putting any weight on your foot at all. Here is what you need to know about this foot problem and how to keep it from impacting your running schedule.

A Small Amount of Tissue Can Give You Big Problems

The plantar fascia is a small band of tissue that connects your heel to the base of your toes. It provides some stability in your foot as well as helps to hold your arch in place. Should this tissue be irritated, it will become inflamed and painful. Some of the symptoms include:

  • a burning sensation on the bottom on your foot
  • severe pain when you touch the point where the plantar fascia connects to your heel and toes
  • heel pain when you place weight on your foot

Your foot may even collapse underneath you should you try to step on it. People report that this often occurs when they first get out of bed in the morning and the pain is so intense that they can't stand on the affected foot.

Causes of the Irritation of the Plantar Fascia

There are a number of reasons this tissue band becomes irritated. Some are under your control.

  • poor warm up techniques before running
  • running while your feet are cold
  • athletic shoes that rub against the bottom of your foot
  • previous foot injuries that may have damaged the tissue band
  • bone spurs that irritate the tissue

Short-Term Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis

When you experience this foot pain, the following will help reduce inflammation and relax the tissue band:

  • taking an anti-inflammatory pain medication, such as ibuprofen
  • holding an ice pack against the bottom of the foot to reduce the swelling
  • slowly moving your foot up and down to stretch out the tense plantar fascia

Long-Term Treatment

Get to a podiatrist as soon as possible to identify the causes of the problem and get you back on your feet. Depending on the reasons for the irritation, your foot doctor may recommend:

  • use of a stronger anti-inflammatory and pain mediation
  • wearing an orthotic in your shoe to remove pressure from the tissue band
  • physical therapy to strengthen the muscles in the foot

If a bone spur is involved, an orthotic device may give you relief until the bone has been absorbed by the body. If a foot injury is the cause of the irritated tissue band, surgery may be done to relax the tissue and prevent a recurrence.

Preventing Plantar Fasciitis

Some of the ways to prevent this condition from happening include:

  • have a proper warm up technique to stretch the muscles in the foot and ankle
  • warm up your feet in chilly weather before running
  • wear running shoes that prevent your foot from slipping and rubbing against the inner sole

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