Can You Still Run with Plantar Fasciitis

Your feet have been bugging you for a little while now and you finally decided enough was enough. It was time to figure out why you are in so much pain when you run. After all, your legs feel fine, you feel strong, and you do not feel overly tired. It is just your feet. You see the doctor and the doctor tells you that you are suffering from plantar fasciitis.

“Okay?” you think. “But can I run?” Assuming you did actually see a doctor, he or she will have a better idea of the amount of pain you are in and the ramifications of what will happen if you continue to run. But, judging by the fact that you are reading this article, we will assume you have not seen a doctor. So keep in mind that while this article may be an informed opinion and a good start, only a medical doctor that you have set an appointment with will be able to give you an authoritative decision on whether or not you can run.


 The #1 Best Insoles for Foot Pain

If you have plantar fasciitis, high arches, flat feet, or other foot support issues, but would rather not purchase a new pair of shoes – add the Tread Labs Stride Insole to your existing shoes. The Stride Insole is biomechanically designed to support your arch and cure/prevent plantar fasciitis. Simply remove the factory insole from your favorite shoes and replace it with the Stride. The Stride comes in four different arch heights for each foot size, offers a lifetime guaranteed arch support and has a removable top cover. Take the Tread Labs Fit Quiz now and get THE BEST possible support for your feet.

#1 Best Support - Tread Labs Stride Insole

  • THE BEST support to prevent/cure Plantar Fasciitis.
  • Lifetime Guaranteed Arch Support.
  • Replaceable Top-Cover
  • Free shipping both ways.

Read Why Stride Insoles are the Best


Brief Overview of Plantar Fasciitis

We’ll assume that if you found this article, you already have a decent idea of what plantar fasciitis is, but here are a few facts about plantar fasciitis that are immediately relevant to whether or not you can run through it.  Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury occurring in one or both feet. It is usually accompanied by pain ranging anywhere from the ball of your foot through your heel, following the path of the plantar fascia, a ligament that connects at your calcaneus (heel bone) and your metatarsal bones in your toes.

A lack of flexibility, a lack of strength, or a significant deviation from your normal training schedule (either increased mileage, new surface, radically different shoes, or any number of other training changes). It can also be aggravated by wearing shoes that do not support your arches or shoes that, while they may have supported your arches once, have now become worn out.

Who Cares? Can I run?

Officially, yes. Running through plantar fasciitis, except for extreme cases, is not likely to injure your plantar fascia further. However, there are some important things to consider. First, consider how much pain you are in. I’ve had plantar fasciitis for the better part of 5 years of my competitive running career. At most points, it is just a slight annoyance in my arch, but at others it has become so painful that I have adjusted my stride and or pace to account for the pain in my foot. While a mild annoyance won’t affect you, if it is painful enough to adjust your stride, running through plantar fasciitis may have consequences.

Think of how many miles your body has run in its lifetime. It may be difficult to remember, but think about how hard running was when you first started. Your body was not used to it and it took time for your muscles to develop to accommodate running a decent amount of miles. Now consider that each of those muscles developed specifically to accommodate the way you run. If you change the way you run, you are going to work different muscles and will work the existing ones in new ways. While working your body out in new ways is usually a good thing, doing it for a number of miles over consecutive days could lead to a variety of injuries. Even if you run the same amount of miles with plantar fasciitis as you did without it, you may now be running 30 miles in a week off muscles you have never used before. You can imagine why those muscles would be unhappy.

But in summary, if the pain is not catastrophic to your form or your pace, you can indeed run, but there are a number of different ways you can alleviate the pain to reduce the risk of injury due to altering your form.

Reducing Plantar Fasciitis Pain

Shoes

shoes to Run with Plantar Fasciitis

First and foremost, make sure you have good shoes that have not been worn down. An orthopedist who specializes in feet is always the best bet, but if you do not have access to that, consult your local running store (not Dick’s Sporting Goods). Most employees at running specialty stores have been trained to know what shoes are built to help certain runners.

Second, start working on your mobility and strength. This is a bit of a complicated subject so we’ll break it down into two sections.

Mobility

Run with Plantar Fasciitis

Since the plantar fascia is a ligament, it works hard when the muscles around it are unable to contract properly. Therefore, in order to make sure that those muscles do their jobs, they have to be able to move through the full range of motion required for running. While you might think this means doing some foot stretches and loosening up your calves, you are certainly not wrong, but every muscle from your toes to your abs are essential to ensure you are moving through proper running form.

Before a run, make sure you warm up all of these muscles properly. Personally, I like to do Coach Jay Johnson’s Lunge Matrix and Dathan Ritzenhein’s dynamic stretches before every run in addition to a few ankle rolls and calf stretches. This ensures that your body is moving through the proper planes from Mile 0 of your run. If I know my run will be a little faster or harder than usual, or if I’m running on uneven surfaces or hills, I also like to foam roll from my glutes to my calves before my run (before Lunge Matrix) as well to ensure I am loose.

ALSO READ:  The Best Apps and Gadgets for Runners

After a run, make sure to incorporate stretching. Personally I prefer Static, Active, and PNF stretching, although there are a number of different kinds of stretching that have been proven effective. The key here though, is to make sure you are working on flexibility from your toes to your hips. That means toes, plantar, foot, calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, and others. If you have been running for some time, you likely already know which of these muscles tend to be the tightest for you, focus on these but make sure not to neglect your other muscles. Foam rolling is also an excellent post run activity to reduce inflammation and improve flexibility.


 The #1 Best Insoles for Foot Pain

If you have plantar fasciitis, high arches, flat feet, or other foot support issues, but would rather not purchase a new pair of shoes – add the Tread Labs Stride Insole to your existing shoes. The Stride Insole is biomechanically designed to support your arch and cure/prevent plantar fasciitis. Simply remove the factory insole from your favorite shoes and replace it with the Stride. The Stride comes in four different arch heights for each foot size, offers a lifetime guaranteed arch support and has a removable top cover. Take the Tread Labs Fit Quiz now and get THE BEST possible support for your feet.

#1 Best Support - Tread Labs Stride Insole

  • THE BEST support to prevent/cure Plantar Fasciitis.
  • Lifetime Guaranteed Arch Support.
  • Replaceable Top-Cover
  • Free shipping both ways.

Read Why Stride Insoles are the Best


In addition to before and after your run, make sure that you are keeping your body, especially your feet, loose throughout the day. Perhaps get up and go for a short walk every hour, even if it is just to fill up your water bottle. If you work at a desk, take a moment every half hour or so to roll your foot around, moving it through its full range of motion to loosen it. Additionally, while you want to avoid your hands smelling like feet, self-massage in your arch, Achilles, and calf muscles may alleviate some pain and reduce inflammation.

Strength

calf raises Run with Plantar Fasciitis

Again, this does not mean just work on the strength of your feet. Similar to your mobility, all runners can work to improve their strength throughout their bodies. While this does not mean you need to go try to max out your bench press every day, doing strength exercises will help reduce your chance of injury.

With plantar fasciitis specifically, work on arch contraction exercises, such as towel rolls or pen drops to improve the muscles in your foot. Additionally, calf raises, squats, and other lower leg exercises will help strengthen other muscles that will take the load off your plantar. With these, I am a big fan of single leg stability exercises. These exercises force you to work on evening out the strength between your two legs and recruiting muscles that you do not normally activate.

Conclusion

Plantar Fasciitis is not fun, but understanding how it works and why the pain is occurring is the first step to fixing the problem. If it is not painful enough to alter your stride and a doctor has not advised you otherwise, it is possible to run through plantar fasciitis, but make sure you are doing the right things, like improving your flexibility and strength, to make sure that you are reducing the pain and helping your body recover. If the pain is enough to alter your form, however, we advise taking a short break from running, while still working on flexibility and strength, so that you can avoid having to take a longer break from the sport in the future from an injury caused by altering your form.

At the end of the day though, it is important to remember: no matter how much reading you do online, no opinion you will find here will replace that of a doctor who specializes in feet and is able to evaluate your specific condition. If your foot continues to bother you, we highly recommend seeing a specialist.

2017-12-08T11:16:03+00:00

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