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What's the Deal With: Plantar Fasciitis

What's the Deal With: Plantar Fasciitis

Quite simply put, plantar fasciitis is an enemy of fitness. Once this problem truly starts, you need to stay away from high impact activities and that can be a serious 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, as 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 important 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.

The condition is more common in women, people who are overweight, and folks with wither 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! It is important to stretch the deep calf muscle called the soleus.


Join The Conversation
georgie2 georgie2 9 years
Oh I've had this for years and I still haven't gotten over it. I spend a lot of time in spin classes instead. And seeing a podiatrist regularly to get it sorted out is EXPENSIVE! And I have rather flexible ankles so I don't feel some of the stretches that I'm supposed to do.
ley ley 9 years
Im not sure if this is what Im feeling. I'm a high arched person and do alot of hindu pushups and dive bombers as well and i've been feeling the pain on my arches and rely alot on my feet (plus I do them barefoot). Im not overweight or anything but I dont know maybe I need to rest it out for awhile.
Sweet-Adeline Sweet-Adeline 9 years
I suffered from this condition while teaching. Stretching and wearing insoles helped the problem. Weaing shoes with one inch soles help--not heels. I no longer have plantar fascitis and I always wear shoes with heel support--think wedge and no spike heels for this gal.
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 9 years
My mom had this and was helped a lot by laser therapy!
mtiger mtiger 9 years
I just started running and I do have pain in my back of my ankles/heels. Can anyome recommend a good calf stretch? I usually just stand on a step and lower my heels to stretch the calf for about 20 seconds. Any help?
tati33 tati33 9 years
no prob esk4. i'm sure you will get them :)
esk4 esk4 9 years
thank you tatti... I may have to convince my coach that we need team superfeet as equipment for next season...
tati33 tati33 9 years
esk4 - here ya go
tati33 tati33 9 years
Superfeet are insoles for your shoes. They are a bit more rigid than those that are found in your usual sneaker.
esk4 esk4 9 years
what exactly are superfeet?
bitesize bitesize 9 years
This is so painful!! I look so silly getting out of bed in the morning or after a break from standing for a long time, I practically fall over from the pain. I'm only 26 but it makes me feel so old. I'm going to check out the superfeet you talked about, queenski! Thanks!
esk4 esk4 9 years
I experianced this my freshman year of college volleyball... we were practicing training and playing all the time and one day I woke up with what felt like knives stabbing my feet! I couldn't give up volleyball as it is what got me into school, so I had to deal, massaging your feet before you get out of bed really helps, so does soaking your feet in a col whirlpool...
QueenSki QueenSki 9 years
Get a pair of Superfeet! They really help with the plantar facitis. I can't do anything without mine!
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