The heel pain running injury, also known as plantar fasciitis, is a painful injury that occurs on the bottom of the foot. The injury happens when the plantar fascia that runs from the ball of the foot to the sole of the foot becomes over-extended or torn.
Causes Of the Heel Pain Running Injury
Plantar faciitis problems seem to occur when a runner suddenly increases mileage and/or workout intensity without allowing his or her body to get used to the new workload. Spikes can especially aggravate the plantar fascia, so running the first race of the season without having used spikes before can be problematic. Make sure to try to use spikes a few times in workouts before using them in a race.
How To Treat and Cure Heel Pain when Running
Because simply walking can stretch and aggravate an injured plantar fascia, it is a difficult injury to rest and let heal. One thing you should do is, if you feel pain in your fascia, try not to walk around barefoot. Walking barefoot can overstretch the plantar fascia and make the injury worse. In addition to this, try some of these remedies:
RICE: RICE stands for “rest, ice, compression, and elevation”. It is the default treatment for essentially any running injury. The first letter, “R”, is perhaps the most important. If you are feeling plantar fascia pain, don’t try to tough it out! The worst thing you can do with heel pain is to continue running. Take at least two days off and give your body the chance the heal! As for the last three letters, I have found that the best way to to carry out “ICE” is to follow this method: 1) Freeze ice in a paper cup in the freezer, 2) When frozen, take the block of ice out of the freezer and roll the bottom of your foot over the round ice block for about 10 minutes, 3) Afterward, wrap an ace bandage or towel around your foot and, while lying on your back, prop your leg up on a chair, 4) After 10 minutes, take the towel/ace bandage off and repeat steps 1-3, 5) Try to do this at least 2-3 times per day.
NSAIDs: “NSAID” stands for Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug. NSAIDs include Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Motrin IB), Naproxen (Aleve). NSAIDs do a great job at reducing inflammation in the body and promoting healing. While these drugs may be help to help you if you are hurt, please be careful not to abuse the drugs. Only take them for about a 2 week period because extended use can really do bad things to your kidneys. I have heard some horror stories about runners who used NSAIDs for months on end who are now suffering from serious kidney issues. Therefore, use NSAIDs if you have a plantar fascia problem, but please don’t overuse them.
Run in good shoes: One of the causes of the heel pain running injury is the use of old shoes with inadequate arch support. This can put a lot of strain on the fascia as it constantly is being stretched.
LIGHT stretching: If your plantar is starting to feel better, incorporate some very light stretching to increase mobility and lengthen the tendon a bit to promote healing. Be very careful not to overstretch. One way to stretch the plantar fascia is to put a towel on the ground and try to bunch the towel up with your toes. If this is painful at all STOP! Also, try to lightly stretch your hamstring and calves. I have found that having tight hamstring and calves can alter a runner’s stride and contribute to plantar fascia problems.
See a professional: To be honest, if you really want to cure your heel pain injury, stop reading my page and go see a profession sports medicine physician and/or a physical therapist as soon as possible. They can help you get back to running far quicker than any advice that I can offer you.
Keep a running log: Although a running log will not cure an injury, it can help you discover why an injury occurred. By tracking your workouts, you will be able to find errors in your training (i.e. not taking enough rest) that cause injuries to happen. Without the help of a running log, it is highly likely that you will continually repeat past training errors and suffer future injuries. The best way to start keeping a log is to sign up for a Runner’s Resource online running log. You won’t regret it.
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