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Treading on eggshells. Very very sharp ones.

Posted by on August 13, 2013

You’ve been getting into all that running. 10k DONE. Move on to 21. Train train train. 21k DONE. Move on to 30. Train train train. And then you realise something. The bottom of your foot is sore. It’s getting more sore each day. No longer can you “run it off”. It stays. And the pain is magnified especially when you take your first few steps in the morning when you get out of bed.

You probably have plantar fasciitis. This is not new to me actually. I’ve suffered from plantar fasciitis before a few years back when I was in Auckland. And as I type this right now, I have an ice pack to my right heel, after aggravating it yesterday while running. It’s back! So I thought I’d share a little bit of what I have learned about this very annoying injury.

What is your plantar fascia?
Underneath your foot, there is a sheath which covers the bones of your foot. It starts from your heel bone to your toes. This is your plantar fascia.

What is plantar fasciitis?
This is a condition whereby the plantar fascia gets inflamed due to injury or trauma. Often a change in routine can cause this:
1. Sudden increase in run mileage
2. Sudden change in running style
3. Running too much in a show that’s not broken into slowly.
However, some people are more predisposed to plantar fasciitis:
1. Flat or high arched feet.
2. Overweight or obese.
3. Tight Achilles tendon/calves.

How do we fix this?
Don’t worry you don’t necessarily need surgery. It’s just an inflammation, so lots of stretching and icing can help a lot! There are different levels of severity, though, so if the pain persists for longer than 1 year, I would suggest checking it out at your nearest Sport Clinic.

This is something I personally think is quite helpful. Take a 500ml plastic water bottle. Make sure it’s quite uniformly cylindrical. Fill it with water and then freeze it. When it is frozen, roll your foot on it with a little pressure. This is massaging your plantar fascia, and applying cold compression at the same time. Do this 2 times a day, every day and you’ll realise a vast difference! 

How do we prevent this?
Try not to increase your mileage too quickly. Do everything gradually, especially if you fall under any of the high risk categories (flat/high arched feet, overweight/obese, have very tight calves). Always break in your shoes slowly, and never ever wear anything new on race day.

Images and content from these sites:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0004438/

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/plantar-fasciitis-topic-overview

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