When you’re already active or trying to lose weight, should heel pain put an automatic halt to your running?
If you are an experienced runner and have a bout of plantar fasciitis, it is smart to take a few days off before resuming your running. Focus on stretching your feet a few times a day, and foam rolling your calves and legs. Worn or non-supportive shoes may be a contributing factor to your plantar fasciitis, so consider replacing your sneakers or investing in a pair of plantar fasciitis inserts. Once your feet begin to feel better, re-incorporate running into your routine at a reduced volume and slowly build back up to your regular workouts.
It’s also possible to begin incorporating running into your fitness routine, even if you already have mild to moderate plantar fasciitis. Start out by walking, and begin incorporating intervals of jogging or running. Rest a few days between your runs to make sure your feet have enough time to recover, and slowly increase the duration of your running intervals until you are jogging more than walking. Here are a couple tips to incorporate into your running if you have plantar fasciitis:
1. Warm up thoroughly before you run. A typical running warm up should include exercises to “wake up” your hip flexors and legs – such as lunges, squats, and leg swings. However, when you have plantar fasciitis you need to pay special attention to your ankles, calves, and plantar fascia ligament during your warm up.
2. Ice After Your Workout. If you anticipate you will be struggling with heel pain after a run, try elevating and icing your feet after your cool down. Ice for 10-15 minutes after your run, and again in the evening if you are experiencing heel pain. There are a variety of ways you can ice your feet. Try using Ice Therapy Slippers, or fill a bucket with ice water and submerge your feet. Some people will also hold a bag of frozen peas to the bottom of their foot.
Running should make you feel healthier, not put you in excruciating pain. If you have mild plantar fasciitis, make sure you take special care of your feet and listen to your body. If you have severe plantar fasciitis or at any point your pain becomes severe, refrain from running until you consult your physiotherapist for medical advice.