We take pride in providing effective care for all of our patients when pain or difficulty arises. Even better, though, we have tips to help you prevent problems from developing in the first place. The most common source of heel pain is a condition known as plantar fasciitis, and there are certainly measures you can take to reduce the likelihood of this happening to you. Even better, though, is the fact that plantar fasciitis prevention isn’t particularly difficult. At worst, you may simply need to make some slight changes to your training regimen or pick out different footwear.
Plantar fasciitis develops when a connective tissue (the plantar fascia) running along the bottom of your foot becomes inflamed and irritated due to excess stress. It causes sharp pain in the bottom of the heel, especially following a night’s sleep or other extended periods of rest.
Top plantar fasciitis prevention tips include:
- Stretch – Keeping your lower limbs, and especially your calf muscles and Achilles tendons, limber is key to reducing your risk for this injury. Doing so relieves tension on the fascia.
- Avoid overtraining – A great tactic for making sure you do not place too much pressure and force on your plantar fascia is to cross-train.
- Wear supportive shoes – Well-constructed running shoes featuring robust arch support and heel cushioning are essential for lowering your risk of foot and ankle conditions and injuries.
- Train on even surfaces – Avoid training on hilly terrain and try your best to keep your running limited to flat surfaces.
- Relax your legs – Holding excess tension anywhere in your lower body can pull on your plantar fascia, so practice relaxing your ankles, calves, and lower legs while walking, running, standing, and even sitting.
- Use a midfoot strike – If you run with a heavy heel strike, you have increased risk of injury. Reduce that risk by landing evenly on the middle of the foot.