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Running

4 Of The Most Common Running Injuries Tamed

Learn how to spot four of the most irksome running injuries and discover how you can banish them for good

3. Plantar Fasciitis

What is plantar fasciitis?

Your plantar fascia is a thick, fibrous band that runs along the bottom of your foot

Your plantar fascia is a thick, fibrous band that runs along the bottom of your foot, from your heel to your toe. Plantar fasciitis is caused by small tears or inflammation of the tendons and ligaments in this area.

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

The main sign youve got plantar problems is a dull ache along the arch of your foot or on the bottom of your heel. Youll spot it during those first few steps out of bed first thing in the morning and it’ll unsurprisingly become sharper and more pronounced when your feet are striking the ground during running, particularly as you push off.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

Runners with very high or low arches tend to be more at risk, while extreme pronators (the amount your foot rolls inwards while running) are also firmly in the cross hares. 

As with a lot of other common running injuries, the root cause is often muscular imbalance

As with other running injuries, rapidly increasing mileage can be a trigger. While running and pushing off the ground, you expose your body to as much as seven times your body weight so its no surprise that doing too much of this before youve built up strength in the right areas can cause damage.

As with a lot of other common running injuries, while the miles are the thing that bring out the injury, the root cause of the problem is often down to muscular imbalances or other problems higher up the body, like tight calf muscles. These weakness affect your running form and the way your feet strike the ground, bringing out issues like plantar fasciitis.

Can I run through plantar fasciitis? 

It is possible to push on through mild plantar fasciitis but this is likely to delay recovery. You could consider running in a swimming pool, where the impact on your feet is vastly reduced, although you will get strange looks. You have been warned. 

How should I treat plantar fasciitis?

Rolling your foot over objects of varying sizes and hardness can help stretch out the plantar fascia tissue. Invest in balls, like a tennis ball and a golf ball, or even use a frozen bottle of water. Work your foot over these five or six times a day, slowly making your way down to the smaller, harder balls as your condition improves.  

How can I prevent plantar fasciitis?

Make sure your upper chain is in good working order to help prevent muscular imbalance and the onset of plantar fasciitis. Stretch your calf muscles, roll your ITBs and work on your core with planks, back extensions and strength work. 

Some experts recommend considering custom orthotics (inner soles designed specifically for your foot shape). Making a trip to a sports podiatrist should help you work out if thats your best course of action. 

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