Why Runners Must Take Heel Pain Seriously

Running is a great activity on its own, but you can race for a good cause, too! The One SMALL Step 5K and Kid’s Run on September 21 in nearby Copiague, NY, is an event to raise money for Prader-Willi Syndrome research. You’ll be raising money to help kids like Ella, who was diagnosed with this syndrome at just 4 weeks old. Ella’s family will donate all the funds from the race directly to the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research. Before you head out to run and pledge money, participants with the beginning of heel pain need to be careful.

Heel pain from plantar fasciitis can be a serious problem. Excessive pressure on the plantar fascia band overstretches the band and damages it. The tissue thickens and develops painful micro-tears. The big problem for runners is that many choose to push through the pain and continue running.

Over time, the compounding injury can make it too painful to run normally. Even if you try to run through it, you may find your gait changing to accommodate the problem and creating other foot, knee, hip, or back aches and pains. If you take steps to prevent pain in the heel before it strikes, or treat it in its early stages, you can avoid weeks on the sidelines with complications from crippling plantar fasciitis pain.

Make sure you warm up properly and ease into any routine changes very slowly. Do extra foot exercises as well, like toe curls, heel raises, and picking up objects with your feet, to strengthen the stabilizing tissues in your lower limbs. Wear proper running shoes, too. Replace any pairs that are worn out, and invest in orthotics if you have biomechanical issues that affect your gait, like low arches. If you do develop pain, don’t wait to take care of it. Instead, decrease your running or take a break altogether. Ice your heel regularly and stretch multiple times a day. When the pain is gone, slowly work back into your routine.

Runners, don’t ignore discomfort from plantar fasciitis or simply hope it will get better on its own. This condition will not improve if you do not work to take care of it. If you’re a runner with problems, let our team at Country Foot Care know. You can arrange for an appointment by calling either of our offices and speak with a member of our helpful staff.  Alternatively, for those who wish to, an appointment can be requested online using the MAKE AN APPOINTMENT button at the top of this page.

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