One of the most common foot-related injuries is plantar fasciitis. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with it, you might be wondering, “can you run when you have plantar fasciitis?”
With the various symptoms experienced with the condition, you might have already planned to give away those running shoes. But wait, before you do, I did the research to show you if you can still run with plantar fasciitis. Read on to see if you should still continue running and how you can follow a healthy program to reap the benefits and become healthier.
- 1 What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
- 2 Can You Run When You Have Plantar Fasciitis?
- 3 How to Run Even With Plantar Fasciitis
- 3.1 1. Warm-Up Properly When Running
- 3.2 2. Ice Your Feet Post-Run
- 3.3 3. Listen to Your Body and Take Rest Days
- 3.4 4. Address Any Foot Pain Right Away
- 3.5 5. Keep the Feet Moisturized BUT Dry
- 3.6 6. Support and Cushion Your Feet
- 3.7 7. Consider Taping and Sock Night Splints
- 3.8 8. Run On the Right Terrain
- 4 Wrapping It Up
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Before anything else, what is plantar fasciitis in the first place?
This is one of the most common feet injuries, also known as the runner’s heel because of how many athletes experience it! The condition creates pain in your feet’s sole, which is where the plantar fascia is.
The plantar fascia is a thick tissue on your feet’s sole, which is attached to your heel bone and may be aggravated when running or walking barefoot. It’s consists of three bands made of tough fibrous tissue, which extends from the heel bone to various attachments in metatarsals, which are bones from the base of your toes.
Of the three bands, the central band is the most crucial to take note of with plantar fasciitis. This is a lateral band that hasn’t been fully formed in many, while medial bands are very thin and located in the heel bone. When the plantar fascia and its bands would have thickened tissue, it can disrupt fibers that make up the fascia or the collagen.
Once that occurs, that is plantar fasciitis.
The main cause of why the tissues in your plantar fascia thicken is due to the excess load and pressure you put on it. That’s why it’s very common in athletes, particularly runners. In fact, the condition affects over a million people yearly!
Can You Run When You Have Plantar Fasciitis?
If you have plantar fasciitis, then you may notice that it hurts the worst as you start running. As you warm up, it would gradually disappear and may return after a run. Other symptoms include pain around your arches and heels, particularly after a whole day on your feet in the wrong shoes.
You will know if you have plantar fasciitis if you experience first step pain, the first sign to the condition. If you feel like a sharp and stabbing pain on your heels the moment you get out of bed, then you’ll need to be checked for the condition.
You CAN recover from it with therapy or other recommendations from your doctor. But it’s a lengthy process, which has people worried if they can continue their sports and/or runs.
Fortunately, you CAN run even with plantar fasciitis. However, unlike the typical runner, you have to take extra safety precautions when doing so.
Furthermore, the intensity of your symptoms can make or break your runs. Some runners can push through the mile symptoms, continuing their workouts without the need for orthotics or the like. For others, the pain may cause additional damage and cause excruciating pain, requiring a break from runs with a lot of rest and therapy.
If you don’t feel much pain and feel like you can push through runs with plantar fasciitis, then, by all means, do so. Just make sure you run properly (I’ll show you some tips later).
BUT, if you feel extreme pain to the point it hurts to walk, it’s best you talk with your doctor about any solutions and to take a few days or weeks off running. This will help your feet heal to have you run painlessly again.
How to Run Even With Plantar Fasciitis
Now that you know whether or not you should still run with plantar fasciitis, what are the tips to follow? If you’re able to run through the mild pain, make sure to take the following safety precautions:
1. Warm-Up Properly When Running
A good warmup and cool down are vital for all workouts, especially running. However, it isn’t just about stretching but short exercises to increase the heart rate gradually. It will also improve your range of motion and increase tendon and ligament elasticity.
Wake up your legs and hip flexors with squats, leg swings, lunges, as well as these exercises that focus on your plantar fascia ligaments:
- Flex and point your toes
- Ankle circles
- Calf raises
2. Ice Your Feet Post-Run
Do you feel like you’ll be struggling with some heel pain right after a run? If you’re anticipating it already, then try to elevate and ice your feet after cooling down.
I recommend that you ice the affected area for up to 15 minutes after a run, then again in the evening if the heel pain persists. You can ice your feet with a bucket of ice water to submerge your feet in, or to use a bag of ice or frozen vegetables.
3. Listen to Your Body and Take Rest Days
We all experience pain and some good ‘ol burning as we run since we’re working our muscles. However, for those with plantar fasciitis, you may experience a bit more pain and discomfort than the average runner. If it gets TOO much, you do NOT push through the pain, but to listen to your body and take breaks.
Instead of forcing yourself to keep going, reduce your running intensity and maybe give yourself rest days to heal properly. This prevents further pain and injury, which can affect your performance even more.
4. Address Any Foot Pain Right Away
Many of us tend to ignore feet and heel pain until it becomes too serious to the point we can’t walk. If you feel any pain unfamiliar or worse than usual, then you need to address it immediately. You can either do so by heading to your doctor for advice or to follow proper foot-care tips to lessen the pain.
5. Keep the Feet Moisturized BUT Dry
Apply moisturizer to your feet after showering to prevent your feet from cracking while running. It also reduces friction when your feet rub against your socks, which prevents blisters and painful gait changes. Do NOT apply moisturizer before running, as you need to keep your feet dry to avoid any fungal problems such as athlete’s foot.
6. Support and Cushion Your Feet
As a runner, you can care for your feet by choosing the right shoes that offer the comfort and support YOU need. You may even need orthotic inserts to help lift and align your feet’s arches, cushioning the heels. With the right shoes and orthotics, it lessens the chances of wearing out your arches, reducing pain and any risk of injury.
7. Consider Taping and Sock Night Splints
Consider taping your feet when running to prevent and manage your heel pain. This offers more support for your heel and fascia by improving its blood flow and circulation, helping to reduce inflammation and swelling.
You can also try using sock night splints, which stretch your feet while sleeping. It reduces inflammation and morning pain.
8. Run On the Right Terrain
As much as possible, go easy with your feet and run on soft and even surfaces. Avoid hard surfaces and uphill trails, which stress your muscles and joints more. Also, when you’re adding more speed and distance to runs, make sure to do so slowly rather than exert too much effort.
Do you want to learn more about plantar fasciitis and running? Check out this informative video:
Wrapping It Up
Plantar fasciitis is a common foot injury many runners may experience, though it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road! With the right knowledge and tips, you can still run without pain and break records while you do so. Just remember to focus on posture, wear the right shoes, and follow any treatment your doctors give recommend.
I hope this article answered your question, “can you run when you have plantar fasciitis?” Now that you know the answer, start following these tips to begin running the right way. Do you have any questions or want to share your tips and experiences when dealing with plantar fasciitis? Share it all in the comments section below, all your thoughts are much appreciated.