What is the number one injury that runners struggle with? Heel pain! Warmer weather is here and you are probably ready to give up the cabin fever and pursue more pleasant activities in the outdoors. It’s time to start conditioning for those 5 and 10 k runs that you enjoy so much. Just make sure your training and conditioning is slow and progressive. No one wants to see you sitting out and one sure way to sideline yourself is to place too much stress on your body without appropriate conditioning time.
One of the injuries that can sideline a runner is heel pain related to plantar fasciitis. It’s a condition that occurs when the large band of tissue that connects the heel to the toes and supports the arch becomes swollen and irritated. It most likely occurs because of overuse or over extension.
Plantar fasciitis is more likely to occur if:
- You are on your feet for prolonged periods of time
- You are overweight
- Have a gait abnormality
- Repetitive action, such as running
- Poor fitting or worn out shoes that offer little support
Sudden changes in your running activity or a change in the surface you are accustom to running on can cause the onset of plantar fasciitis. Symptoms include pain in the heel and bottom of the foot and it is usually worse when you take your first steps after a nights rest. It may get better during the day then worsen again after long periods on your feet. The pain may be felt in one or both feet.
There are a number of self treatments that help with the pain of plantar fasciitis, which include:
- Reduce your activity level
- Apply ice or cold packs
- Over-the-counter pain medication
- Exercises that allow you to gently flex your foot
- Replace your shoes to make sure the arch support is good and cushioning is optimal
If you have heel pain or are suffering with pain in the arch of your foot that is not getting better, make an appointment by calling the Hillsboro office at (503) 648-1713, the Newberg office at (503) 538-0466, or the Beaverton office at (503) 292-9252. We have treated thousands of patients with heel pain and has the experience to get you back on track. At Oregon Foot and Ankle Specialists, we can develop a treatment plan to help keep you active and keep you running!
K.G. Gauntt, DPM