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How to Heal Plantar Fasciitis While Running

It's no secret that plantar fasciitis is a common runner's affliction. Achilles tendonitis, iliotibial band syndrome, and even runner's knee can sideline runners for weeks or months, but plantar fasciitis is often the most stubborn injury to overcome. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help with plantar fasciitis pain while you run. Check out these tips below!

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes pain in the heel and bottom of the foot. It is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, the connective tissue that runs from the heel to the toes. Plantar fasciitis is common in runners and other athletes who place repetitive stress on their feet. It can also be caused by obesity, poor footwear, and standing or walking for long periods of time. Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include heel pain that is worse in the morning or after extended periods of rest, pain that increases with activity, and stiffness in the heel.

Plantar fasciitis is often confused with similar conditions such as bursitis or tarsal tunnel. If you have pain in your heel at the end of the day or experience any burning, tingling or numbness, you are more than likely experiencing one of these other conditions. If that is the case, the tips below may not help because bursitis and tarsal tunnel require different treatments.

A few treatment options for plantar fasciitis includes rest, ice, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, laser therapy, and custom orthotics. If the pain is severe, we may prescribe corticosteroid injections or physical therapy. Surgery is rarely necessary.

How To Heal Plantar Fasciitis While Running

Here are some tips:

  1. Stretch your calves and Achilles tendon before running. This will help loosen up the muscles and tendons in your feet and lower legs, which can help prevent plantar fasciitis. Not sure what stretches to do? Check out this step-by-step guide.
  2. Start slowly. If you're just starting to run again after a long hiatus, or if you've increased your mileage too quickly, you're more likely to experience plantar fasciitis. Ease into running gradually to give your body time to adjust.
  3. Run on soft surfaces. Pavement and concrete are hard on your feet, so try running on dirt trails or grass whenever possible. If you must run on pavement, try to do so on softer surfaces like rubber tracks or synthetic turf.
  4. Wear supportive shoes. Shoes that don't provide enough support can contribute to plantar fasciitis. Look for shoes that are nonflexible with good arch support and a cushioned heel. Some of our favorites are Brooks, Asics, and New Balance.
  5. Ice your feet after running. Ice can help reduce inflammation and pain in the feet. Freeze a bottle of water and roll it over your arch and heel for 20 minutes, three times per day. You can also apply a topical anti-inflammatory called Soothe. Soothe is a pain-relieving stick that contains 1000mg of CBD, arnica, eucalyptus, and lavender oils. This ultra-potent combination will reduce pain for a minimum of 4 hours.
  6. Try custom orthotics. Custom orthotics can help support the arch of your foot and relieve pain. For more details about custom orthotics, check out this article.
  7. Rest. If you're in pain, take a break from running. How long you’ll have to rest depends on the severity. To minimize any downtime, it’s best to get treatment earlier rather than later. During this time, focus on strength training. Once the pain subsides, start running again slowly and gradually increase your mileage.

If you’re currently struggling with plantar fasciitis pain or are just looking to prevent it from happening in the first place, give our office a call. We can help you develop a plan that reduces your risk of developing this pesky injury and gets you back on your feet – quite literally – as quickly as possible. You can give us a call at   or schedule an appointment online. In the meantime, we wish you happy running (pain-free, of course)!