15/02/2019 0 Comments
Common Running Injuries – Plantar Fasciitis
What is it? Plantar fasciitis is a common runner’s injury, caused by inflammation of the connective tissue that runs from the base of the toes to the heel bone (calcaneus.) This connective tissue is called the plantar fascia, and it supports the underside of the foot.
The injury causes heel pain which is worse in the morning and improves during the day. The pain radiates from the medial heel and may extend into the midsection of the foot. The heel can be tender to touch especially on the inner side. Pain may lessen the more the foot is used, such as in running, but returns much worse an hour or so afterwards. Stretching the underside of the foot can produce pain.
Excessive pronation of the foot is often associated with plantar fasciitis, as are tight calf muscles. The plantar muscles of the foot are frequently tight, fibrosed and congested.
People with this complaint often have a long history of the problem and have usually tried many treatment methods unsuccessfully. The favourite orthodox treatment for this condition is either anti-inflammatory drugs, or corticosteroid injection. However, some people prefer to use effective, natural types of treatment. Therapy consists of ice applications to the area of pain on the heel, in conjunction with alternate hot and cold showers to the whole of the underside of the foot.
For the long term health of the area (or any other area) avoid steroid injections if a all possible. For a while, you will probably have to lay off running, but this may only be for a few weeks. The underside of the foot should be regularly stretched. Deep soft tissue pressure massage into the fascia, the plantar foot muscles, and the calves, will be needed once or twice a week, for a few weeks, reducing the frequency after gradually returning to running as the condition improves.
Self massage with the thumbs, and with the use of a foot roller (obtainable from The Body Shop) a couple of times a day for five minutes only, should be performed to the underside of the foot.
See a sports osteopath and podiatrist who, each in their own way, will correct any underlying biomechanical problems that may be the cause of this condition. Make sure your shoes are well cushioned and provide support.
Graeme Stroud ND, MRN, DO, ACOH is an osteopath, naturopath, certified zen body therapist and a qualified healer.