Runner's Heel Pain May Be Plantar Fasciitis

Whether you are a casual runner or training for a big race, you know that a foot injury can really get in the way of your workout plans.

One of the most common injuries for runners is heel pain which is often caused by plantar fasciitis. This injury is caused by repeated over-stretching of the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that attaches to the heel bone and runs along the sole of your foot. With overuse, this tissue becomes thick and inflamed.

If you increase your running duration or speed too quickly, for instance if you are training for a race, you may experience this injury. Plantar fasciitis is seen in other sports too, for example those that involve jumping like basketball. Other causes besides overuse include overpronation, tight calf muscles, a foot with a high arch, poor-fitting shoes and being overweight.

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

If you have plantar fasciitis, you will certainly know it! This injury can be excruciatingly painful especially when you first step out of bed in the morning. The pain begins under the heel and can radiate forward to the arch of the foot.

The degree of pain depends on how badly the plantar fascia is damaged. The pain is worst first thing in the morning because during the night your foot relaxes and the tissue temporarily shortens. Usually the pain eases as you warm up and gradually the tissue stretches.

Treating Plantar Fasciitis Heel Pain

The first thing to do is rest your foot! Put off your training schedule as soon as you feel heel pain so you don't aggravate the injury.

Plantar fasciitis may go away on its own with several months of rest, but at Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute we have the experience and technology to heal the tissues completely and much more quickly.

Based on the severity of your injury, we may try conservative treatments first including physical therapy and wearing a night splint to keep the tissue stretched. Custom-fitted orthotics can help correct faulty foot alignment and bring the foot into a better position.

We also offer shockwave therapy that relieves pain by affecting the cellular function of living tissue. WellWave therapy produces a burst of sound waves to give a precision deep tissue massage that eases pain, improves circulation, reduces muscle tightness and improves range of motion.

Preventing Plantar Fasciitis

  • Strength training along with running can help reduce injuries. Focus on the flexibility of your lower legs and strengthening hip and leg muscles.
  • Stay at a healthy weight.
  • Make sure your footwear fits your foot and gait and is not wearing out.
  • Stay flexible with regular Achilles tendon and plantar fascia stretches. Try these from the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society.

Don't Live with Heel Pain - Take Action

Dr. John Schilero, DPM, board certified podiatrist has the right experience to diagnose and treat heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis or other sources. Please call us at 561-694-7776 EXT. 41 to make an appointment at one of our four offices conveniently located in Palm Beach County. You can also request an appointment at the website. Plantar fasciitis won't heal quickly without professional help - call us today!