Plantar Fasciitis - More information than you ever want about your feet.
It’s coming. Whether we like it or not. Running. Maybe we have been avoiding it while quarantined, but we know the nice weather and longer days are nearly here and with that we WILL have running programmed into our workouts. The other not-so-pleasant part that often accompanies running is the nagging heel pain which can often be blamed on plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is very common and no one is safe from this annoying injury (small people, big people, tight people, limber people, anyone can get it!). The good news is, plantar fasciitis is well researched and there are several primary treatments that physical therapists use that tend to manage plantar fasciitis symptoms very well.
Let’s start from the beginning. What the heck is plantar fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a layer of fibrous connective tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot connecting the heel to the toes and helping to support the arch. Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, typically at the insertion closer to the heel bone. Although plantar fasciitis is not the only cause of heel pain, it is the most common cause and will affect 1 in 10 people in the United States. The classic symptoms of plantar fasciitis are heel pain with the first few steps after a period of inactivity, and pain with prolonged weight bearing. Plantar fasciitis affects many people, the most common being those who stand and walk on a non-absorbant surface for work, runners, and non-athletic people with a high BMI.
Now for the good stuff: how can you treat plantar fasciitis or perhaps even prevent it?
Buy a shoe that is right for your foot when you are running. This might be a different shoe than what you typically wear to CrossFit. You may have to consider wearing a running shoe for WOD’s that include both running and weightlifting.
Stretch the calves. Stretching the calves has been found to be the single most effective way to treat plantar fasciitis. So let’s keep our calves stretched to avoid plantar fasciitis!
Massage the plantar fascia with a lacrosse ball to stimulate blood flow and therefore, healing.
The bird dip. This should be completed slowly and with perfect control and through as big of a range of motion as you can muster. This will improve the control your foot and limb have when running to decrease the impact your heel must take.