Plantar Fasciitis is a condition that predominantly causes heel pain and affects the plantar fascia, a taught band of tissue that crosses from the heel (calcaneus) to the toes (metatarsals). Pain or discomfort from plantar fasciitis is more pronounced when taking the first few steps in the morning.
How does Plantar Fasciitis develop?
There are several factors that can contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis. Here are a few things to consider when you start training.
There can be nothing more frustrating for the enthusiastic runner who has their eyes set on completing a race or improving a personal best than developing Plantar Fasciitis mid-training. If you’re training with Plantar Fasciitis, it’s worth bearing in mind that the plantar fascia can tear a little more with each step, leading to further pain and prolonging your recovery time. Repetitive microtrauma to the tissue can cause the fascia to become chronically inflamed, specifically known as plantar fibrositis.
Renowned author, runner and coach Hal Higdon, advises that runners increase their weekly mileage by 10% each week and incorporate rest days into their training plan. It makes sense… after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your hopes of completing your best race if you over-train! By gradually building up the miles you will allow your mind and soft tissue time to adjust to the increased distance, ensuring that you will stay injury-free whilst avoiding the psychological wall that inhibits so many runners.
Nothing encourages Plantar Fasciitis pain more than inappropriate footwear! Worn out, too flexible, too ridged or simply not giving you enough arch support; it’s important that you find the right trainers for you.
When buying your running shoes, it’s worth considering the surface you’re running on. Repetitive heel striking on a hard surface can aggravate the plantar fascia connection at the calcaneus, so consider visiting a good running shop and talk to someone who is passionate about running shoes.
Trainers can vary in prices, but a good running shop should be able to give you sound advice about the gear you need and it shouldn’t cost the earth either. It’s worth doing a bit of research too. There are so many different types of running shoes out there, and they are made with different terrain and types of runners in mind. From motion control to stability, performance shoes to trail shoes, get to know your feet and really think about what you want your shoes to do. It will be worth it in the long run.
Not just the calves – everything! How many of us forget to warm up, cool down or even simply stretch? Stretching is therapeutic, not only providing a physiological benefit but also a psychological one too – that’s why it should play an important role in your training regime alongside massage treatment.
When stretching or undergoing a Sports Massage designed to alleviate muscle tension, it is important to remember that your method is your choice and no one thing works for the same person in the same way. It’s good to explore your options and talk to a healthcare professional to help guide you through a treatment or exercise plan.
Poor technique, genetics or both
Each person’s running technique is unique. On the surface, it might look like we are all moving in the same way, but underneath our skin our individual soft tissue can function slightly differently from person to person. This is because we all require our bodies to support us in different individual ways during our daily life. Whether you sit at a desk for 8 hours a day, have poor biomechanics or you have an underlying condition, your running technique is determined by your posture and the strength and flexibility of your soft tissue. It may be worth undergoing a gait analysis or visiting a specialist to discuss your posture and running technique.
How can massage help Plantar Fasciitis?
It is important to consider the body as a whole, not just the area that is causing your discomfort. When it comes to Plantar Fasciitis that means treating the whole leg, your glutes and lower back. This is because when an area of your body is in pain, the chances are the supporting structures will try to help, effectively working harder to allow the injured area time to heal.
Jenkins Soft Tissue Therapy offers a wide range of treatments designed to ease the symptoms brought on by Plantar Fasciitis. Consider booking a Deep Tissue Massage or Remedial Massage today and help your body along the road to recovery.