Plantar fasciitis is a common injury that is mainly caused by repetitive strain to your plantar fascia (the fibrous tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes). If you’re an athlete— specifically a runner—you’re especially prone to plantar fasciitis, which can dash your training and racing hopes and disrupt your performance.
The good news is that plantar fasciitis is highly preventable, and knowing the right strategies to keep it at bay can help you reach your peak athletic potential.
Here are a few plantar fasciitis prevention tips that you may find useful.
1.) Do regular stretching.
Tightness in your calf muscles and Achilles tendon (the strong fibrous cord that connects the muscles in the back of your calf to your heelbone) can pull on the plantar fascia and cause it to get inflamed.
Diligently stretching these areas, including the plantar fascia, can be beneficial for preventing plantar fasciitis. Stretching your toes and flexing your feet up and down 10 times before standing up can also help reduce tension on your plantar fascia.
2.) Wear comfortable shoes.
Get a pair of shoes that are lightweight, very flexible, provide arch support and stability to your feet and ankle, and evenly distribute your weight. The shoes should also cushion your heels to reduce impact when your feet hit the ground.
3.) Maintain a healthy weight.
Being overweight is bad for you on so many levels. For one, excess weight places increased pressure on your feet, particularly your heels.
You can be an athlete and still have a high body mass index (BMI), possibly due to an underlying medical condition, such as a thyroid problem.
Fortunately, getting down to a normal weight is easier in people who are physically active, as long as the underlying issue is also treated.
4.) Alternate your exercises.
When you’re off the court or the field, try alternating high-impact with low-impact exercises to give your feet some respite. The sustained force from running and jogging, which are high-impact exercises, can overburden your plantar fascia.
Examples of low-impact exercises include walking, hiking, yoga, pilates, stationary cycling, swimming, and strength training. A ratio of 4:1 low-impact to high-impact activities is good for you.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment in South-Central Texas
Don’t let plantar fasciitis stand in your way to the finish line! If you’re experiencing heel pain that doesn’t respond to basic remedies, see us at the Podiatry Group of South Texas for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.
At the Podiatry Group of South Texas, we have 10 highly experienced, extremely approachable podiatrists who are committed to providing our patients with the most advanced level of care.
Once we confirm that you have plantar fasciitis, we will recommend the treatment option that will best address your condition. Among other conservative treatment approaches, we offer custom orthotics and shockwave therapy, which are both effective at providing pain relief and stimulating healing.