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A Pain in Heel: Plantar Fasciitis

Quite simply put, plantar fasciitis is an enemy of fitness. Once this problem truly starts, the best remedy is to stop any high impact activity, and sometimes even biking. Talk about a bummer!

It is an over use injury affecting the fascia, a type of connective tissue, on the bottom of your foot. Plantar fascia is a thick, fibrous band that runs from your heel bone to the base of your toes. When the fascia is placed under too much stress, it stretches too far and tears. This causes inflammation of the fascia as well as the tissues that surround it. The tears can become scarred as they heal, creating even less flexible tissue, which makes the problem even worse. Runners are susceptible to this condition since running can create tight calves. If your calves get tight, they can pull on the fascia, increasing the tension on the fascia, decreasing its flexibility and leading to tears. Yep, this is just one more reason to stretch. Over training can lead to this condition too, and that is why rest days are vital, as well as gradually increasing the lengths and intensities of your runs.

To see who is more prone to developing this injury


The condition is more common in women, people who are overweight, and folks with flat feet or high arches. Over pronation, placing too much weight on the inside of the foot, can lead to plantar fasciitis when combined with worn out, unsupportive sneakers.

The major symptom of this condition is pain at the base of your heel, especially during your first few footsteps in the morning, or at the beginning of a run. Treatments include resting (this means not running for a while, which can be a real pain), ice massage (use a Cryocup), and stretching your calves (here are two great stretches)! It is important to stretch the deep calf muscle called the soleus.


KW84 KW84 4 years
OK, as an occupational therapy (OT) student and individual who goes to school full time to learn the basic anatomy as well as movements of the human body (AKA. Kinesiology) , "over pronation" is no where near the vocab that any Doc. much less therapist would ever use for the description you just mustered up....what you are saying in your quoted words is, "Over pronation, placing too much weight on the inside of the foot" BUT in medical and "real world" terms means, foot "INVERSION"....NOT Pronation. There is no such thing as pronation of the foot in anatomy OR perhaps you should get your degree and then give basic and well-educated advice after you get that diploma. Pronation does not belong in this context what so ever....just FYI. Stop giving hyped up definitions to people who wouldn't know the difference, you might as well be educating them correctly, and not incorrectly. We all know, vocabulary, especially in the medical field can be daunting, you of all people obviously.
Fitness Fitness 9 years
mrktmstr- great stretch! It is also good to roll the fascia of the feet with a ball or foot roller. Stretch both your calves and you deep calves aka soleus. The link to the stretches in the post will show you how.
Frenched Frenched 9 years
I think I've had that happen to me while wearing very unsupportive shoes or sandals. It was scary! Now I try to always stretch my muscles before I go walking to avoid that. Anyway, this is very interesting.
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 9 years
This is really's good to learn about any fitness-related injuries! I have weak ankles, and the heels are right in that neighborhood.
mrktmstr mrktmstr 9 years
Hi missy - I am a runner and you CAN stretch your feet. This is the stretch I do: "Plantar Fascia Stretch: Sit down, and place the affected foot across your knee. Using the hand on your affected side, pull your toes back toward your shin until you feel a stretch in your arch. Run your thumb along your foot--you should feel tension. Hold for a count of 10." -Runner's World
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Sounds awful!
DreaAST DreaAST 9 years
good info to know!
missyd missyd 9 years
Can you stretch your feet? Or will the effect be accomplished through stretching the calves?
carrieann9016 carrieann9016 9 years
Stretch, Stretch, Stretch!!!!!!
missyd missyd 9 years
Well holy,this is weird. I just started running for the first time in my life a few days ago. Anyways, I woke up this morning, the bottom of my foot is KILLING me! It's all along the inner side, from heel towards toes. It does feel like something pulled. It hurts to walk on it. BUT i don't want to stop running...I know if I do now I won't go back at it. I need to stay with it. Any advice anyone???
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