Running with Plantar Fasciitis: What you need to know about your foot condition and how to treat it (2023)

Running with Plantar Fasciitis: What you need to know about your foot condition and how to treat it (1)

Most runners have heard of or experienced plantar fasciitis. This is a relatively common injury that affects runners of all levels, and often when they least expect it. This is particularly an issue for runners accumulating miles towards a race goal or runners who just started running on different terrain. But do you know why plantar fasciitis occurs and what can be done if you suffer from this problem?

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a fibrous band in the foot that plays an important role as one of the supporting structures for the arch or instep. It behaves like a band.

ButSenhor Rohit Madhav(opens in new tab), specialist in orthopedics and trauma surgery at Princess Grace Hospital London, explains that fascia can be prone to injury. He says, “Plantar fasciitis is usually the result of excessive stress and strain on the foot and foot muscles. This leads to repetitive microtrauma or stress to the plantar fascia. The fascia then undergoes a degenerative change.

"Plantar fasciitis often presents as pain in the middle of the heel in runners."

Running with Plantar Fasciitis: What you need to know about your foot condition and how to treat it (2)

Why do runners get plantar fasciitis?

There are several reasons for a plantar fasciitis injury. It is said to be a common problem for runners and kickboxers alike.

For runners, it can be as simple as changing shoes for running shoes that don't fully support the foot. Another cause could be running shoes that are so worn out that they no longer support the foot adequately.

(Video) Foot Pain When Running? | What Is Plantar Fasciitis & How To Treat It

Barefoot activities or walking in flat shoes and thin-soled sandals can also cause plantar fasciitis.

Running on rougher or flatter terrain than you're used to can strain the fascia and muscles in your foot. The same can also happen when you switch from sidewalk running to trail running or increase the distance of your runs, for example. B whenultra run,

Madhav explains, “Wearing tight, ill-fitting, or worn shoes can accelerate the deterioration of fascial health. In general, though, it's not so much the shoe as the imbalance in the musculature of the legs, feet, and ankles that strains the arches of the feet and causes injury.

“Any sudden change in shoe type can lead to stress injuries, so it's important to vary or change shoe styles regularly.

"The most common example of this is running in flip flops in the summer that you don't wear regularly and then going back to your normal routine, after which the heel starts to hurt.

“Another common type of presentation is the transition from heels to sneakers, which generates an imbalance in the musculature and this leads to tension in the arch of the foot, starting with the fascia. Then comes the pain of plantar fasciitis."

Madhav also reports that sudden changes in intensity during activities such as running, walking, or running across new terrain can cause tension in the fascia.

Running with Plantar Fasciitis: What you need to know about your foot condition and how to treat it (3)

How is plantar fasciitis?

Runners will typically feel tight in the bottom of the foot from forefoot to heel. As the condition worsens, the heel becomes more and more painful.

The pain and tightness are usually worse in the morning when you wake up after a night's sleep. The foot may feel stiff at night and may be difficult to move in the morning.

Sometimes the pain subsides while running, but that doesn't mean the injury has healed. The running process is likely to stretch the foot and the plantar fascia, but the underlying problem is still there.

How to recover from plantar fasciitis

There's a chance that runners suspect they have plantar fasciitis, but it's a good idea to get a proper diagnosis, such as a physical therapist or podiatrist.

Katie Knapton, owner ofphysiofast(opens in new tab), advises: “The best treatment for plantar fasciitis is to use supportive shoes, such as orthoses, and try to reduce the pressure on the structures as much as possible when the pain is severe.

"It's important for sufferers to try to maintain their fitness levels rather than stop exercising so they can introduce low-impact exercises like swimming and cycling."

(Video) Can I run with Plantar Fasciitis?

Madhav adds, “The goal of fascial restoration and intervention is to reduce muscle imbalance forces. So we try to wear supportive, structured shoes that aren't too soft, with a thicker padded heel and support under the instep/arch area."

There are also many other suggested treatments to relieve pain from plantar fasciitis and aid recovery.

They include:

feet massage

Some studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of self-massage in relieving pain from plantar fasciitis. You can try rolling the ball of your foot on a tennis or golf ball. You can do this sitting at your desk or watching TV.

If you experience severe pain or "hot spots", try applying more pressure to that area of ​​your foot when twisting.

The pressure from this type of massage helps distract pain receptors in the brain and also improves blood flow to the arch and heel. Massage is also believed to be helpful in loosening painful adhesions (ruptures that have not healed properly) in the ligament of the plantar fascia.

Other products for an effective massage include a water bottle of frozen water (place the full water bottle in the freezer overnight) or special foot massage products.

stretch it

One study (published inFoot and Ankle International(opens in new tab)) reported that nearly 85% of people with plantar fasciitis found stretching helpful in reducing pain from the injury.

Stretching helps improve the flexibility, strength, and elongation of the plantar fascia. There are many ways to lengthen the foot, e.g. B. Sitting on the floor with legs straight. Wrap a band around your foot and gently pull it towards you.

toe separators

It is claimed that toe separators can help stretch the tight and shortened fascia of the foot. These can be used sitting or lying down, for example while watching TV.

There are mixed medical opinions about the benefits of using finger extenders to treat plantar fasciitis.

splints for socks

(Video) How to Treat and Prevent Plantar Fasciitis So You Can Keep Running!

If you find that your plantar fasciitis is worse in the morning, overnight stocking splints may be helpful.

This helps keep the fascia taut during sleep, rather than the foot naturally settling into a position where the fascia is rigid and unyielding. Again, opinions differ on whether sock splints are a useful remedy for plantar fasciitis, although anecdotally many runners swear by these products.

orthopedic soles

If you end up seeing a physical therapist or podiatrist, they may suggest that you use shoe inserts to ease the pain and problems of plantar fasciitis.

The purpose of an orthosis is to cushion the feet and relieve pain when walking and running. Heel Seats are inserts made especially for Plantar Fasciitis and they elevate the arch of the foot to the ideal position for heel spur pain relief.

Many runners wear shoe inserts in their shoes every time they run.


TENS therapy(opens in new tab)– Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation: sometimes used for plantar fasciitis. This treatment aims to stimulate the nerves of the feet with doses of electrical current, with the aim of improving circulation and cutting off the body's pain signals.

You can buy small TENS therapy devices to take home or get advice from an expert in this type of therapy.

There is some evidence (a study in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 2017) showing that TENS therapy helps reduce inflammation and reduces stiffness and pain of the plantar fascia.

new running shoes

Sometimes it may make sense to buy a new pair.running shoes. Let the store know you have problems with plantar fasciitis and ask them to access your foot and walkway.

slow build

Another tip for preventing or mitigating the potential for plantar fasciitis is to make sure you increase your mileage carefully, especially if you intend on having barefoot. Any sudden change in training or footwear can cause muscle problems in the feet.

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(Video) Where to run with plantar fasciitis

Running with Plantar Fasciitis: What you need to know about your foot condition and how to treat it (4)

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(Video) How to Fix Plantar Fasciitis in 5 Minutes (NO MORE HEEL PAIN)

Fiona Russell is a widely read adventure journalist and blogger better known as Fiona Outdoors. Based in Scotland, she is a versatile outdoor enthusiast with favorite pursuits including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlons and more skiing, both downhill and off-piste. Her aim for 2021 is to climb the last nine peaks of 282 Munros, Scotland's 3,000-foot-plus mountains, on her first lap. In addition to being outdoors, Fiona's biggest goal is to inspire others to enjoy the outdoors, primarily through her writing. She is rarely seen without running shorts! Learn more atFiona outdoors(opens in new tab).


How do you treat plantar fasciitis when running? ›

In addition to reducing run volume or resting, the most commonly recommended treatments include:
  1. Arch support and wearing inserts in your shoes.
  2. Changing shoes.
  3. Taping the arch of the foot when walking or running.
  4. ART or massage.
  5. Rolling and stretching the foot.
  6. Rolling and stretching the calves.
  7. Strengthening exercises.

Is it OK to run with plantar fasciitis? ›

Continuing your running routine while dealing with plantar fasciitis is possible, as long as your pain is mild. But if you're experiencing moderate to severe discomfort, hanging up your running shoes temporarily might be in order.

What is the best surface to run on for plantar fasciitis? ›

If you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, try to find a softer yet even surface. Otherwise, an asphalt surface is preferable over concrete. For prevention and a cross training strategy, vary your running surface to increase the strength of your feet.

What is the fastest way to cure plantar fasciitis? ›

The best—and the fastest—way to recover is through manual physical therapy and low-impact exercises that focus on the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia. Regular physical therapy treatment will rebuild stability in your ankle and strengthen your tissue along the sole of your foot.

What aggravates plantar fasciitis? ›

Activities that can increase the force through your feet and aggravate plantar fasciitis include: Running, walking or standing a lot in unsupportive shoes. Running, walking or standing on hard surfaces like concrete. Carrying a heavy object or gaining weight.

What not to do with plantar fasciitis? ›

Bad Habits That Are Making Your Plantar Fasciitis Worse
  • Ignoring your weight. Most of us know that maintaining a healthy weight is important for our overall health. ...
  • Not wearing supportive shoes. ...
  • Sitting or standing for long periods. ...
  • Pushing through the pain. ...
  • Not stretching or using supports.

How long does plantar fasciitis take to heal running? ›

Depending on the severity of the injury, you may be able treat it and be back running with 3-7 days if your injury isn't too severe. Within two weeks, you should be back to your normal training. Follow these steps if you come down with a case of plantar fasciitis and you can cut your recovery time down substantially.

How long does it take to get rid of running plantar fasciitis? ›

Treatments like proper rest, icing, stretching, massage, kinesiology tape, avoiding uneven surfaces, and decreasing your running intensity can help manage symptoms. You may need one to two weeks or more of a break from running to reduce the severity of your plantar fasciitis.

Does soaking feet in warm water help plantar fasciitis? ›

Is heat good for plantar fasciitis, too? Heat therapy helps increase circulation and blood flow, which can reduce cramping and stiffness. Heat can also loosen up the plantar fascia ligament, which can make stretching and massage more effective. But heat doesn't numb pain and may cause more swelling.

Do compression socks help plantar fasciitis? ›

Compression socks are considered good for plantar fasciitis as they reduce the mobility of your feet by providing support to arches and ankles. Thus your alignment gets improved, and feet tissues don't get stressed. They also help in preventing injuries due to exercising in bad posture.

Is heat or cold better for plantar fasciitis? ›

Because plantar fasciitis presents with acute inflammation, icing your foot is easily the best way to manage the pain, especially when compared to heat therapy. To promote faster healing, use ice with rest, NSAIDs, massage, and orthotics. Together, these approaches will relieve your pain and ensure optimal recovery.

How do you wrap your foot when running plantar fasciitis? ›

Apply a strip of tape around your heel, connecting each end of the strip to the tape at the ball of your foot. Apply a second strip around the back of your heel. This time, pull each of the ends across the sole of your foot. Anchor each end to the ball of your foot.

Does walking on tiptoes help plantar fasciitis? ›

Plantar fasciitis makes your heel hurt when you walk. The pain is usually worse when you get out of bed in the morning or when you walk after sitting for a long time. Walking barefoot, walking on tiptoe, or walking up stairs may make the pain worse.

What is the best cushioning for plantar fasciitis? ›

The 8 Best Insoles For Plantar Fasciitis in 2022
  • Shop VIVEsole Gel Heel Cups On Amazon. ...
  • Shop Spenco Total Support Insoles On amazon. ...
  • Shop Sof Sole 3/4 Plantar Fascia Insoles On Amazon. ...
  • Shop Sof Sole Plantar Fascia Insoles On The Insole Store.
  • Shop Powerstep Pinnacle Insoles on Amazon. ...
  • Shop Dr.
Dec 16, 2022

Can Epsom salt help plantar fasciitis? ›

Epsom salts: This is one of the most popular choices among all-natural home remedies for plantar fasciitis because it can be so soothing. It is also inexpensive. Epsom salt can relieve pain and inflammation. The salts can help heal muscles and connective tissues.

What are 2 symptoms of plantar fasciitis? ›

The most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
  • Pain on the bottom of the foot near the heel.
  • Pain with the first few steps after getting out of bed in the morning, or after a long period of rest, such as after a long car ride. ...
  • Greater pain after (not during) exercise or activity.

Should I limit walking with plantar fasciitis? ›

In fact, walking may actually inflame the plantar fascia more, leading to an extension of your treatment. While it's not walking alone that could further inflame the ligament, if you're not wearing the right shoes or are exerting yourself too much, the plantar fasciitis can flare up.

Does caffeine affect plantar fasciitis? ›

Avoid caffeine and alcohol; both can be dehydrating. 4. If you smoke, quit immediately.

Can shoes give you plantar fasciitis? ›

You probably already know that ill-fitting shoes often contribute to painful blisters on your feet, but blisters are far from the only foot injury caused by shoes. Wearing the wrong pair of shoes can increase your risk of developing foot pain, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, and more.

What are the stages of plantar fasciitis? ›

Research findings describe 3 stages to plantar fasciitis.
  • Stage 1 – thickening of the plantar fascia.
  • Stage 2 – Aggravation of the plantar heel fat pad.
  • Stage 3 – heel bone bruising (oedema)
Feb 1, 2020

Should you go barefoot with plantar fasciitis? ›

Most podiatrists believe that persons with plantar fasciitis should avoid being barefoot for extended periods of time, particularly on hard surfaces such as concrete or wood floors. Put on supportive slippers. Wear supportive plantar fasciitis slippers instead of bare feet when you're ready to kick back and relax.

Why does rolling a ball help plantar fasciitis? ›

While it doesn't strengthen the feet, rolling a tennis ball under your foot can stretch the bottom of the foot and loosen up your plantar fascia. This exercise relieves tension in the plantar fascia and makes it less likely to become irritated. It also improves circulation in the area.

What foods should you avoid with plantar fasciitis? ›

Inflammation Can Cause Foot Pain

Plantar fasciitis can actually get worse when certain foods are consumed in excess, including: Animal protein sources with too much saturated fat, such as red meat. Prepared foods with refined grains, sugar and trans-fats. White flour that you find in pasta, snacks and desserts.

What vitamins help plantar fasciitis? ›

On the anti-inflammatory side, there are many different vitamins, minerals, and compounds that can affect conditions like plantar fasciitis, with calcium, magnesium, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), and Vitamin C being among the most influential.

Does drinking water help plantar fasciitis? ›

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the band of tissue connecting the heel bone and toes. Drinking water can help manage plantar fasciitis-related inflammation and pain.

Is biofreeze good for plantar fasciitis? ›

Indications - Biofreeze is used in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, complex regional pain syndromes, arthritis of the foot and ankle, stress fractures, shin splints, heel pain, heel spur syndrome, arch pain, forefoot pain, plantar fasciitis, and post-injuries including ankle ...

Does wearing socks at night help with plantar fasciitis? ›

Can I Wear Compression Socks for Plantar Fasciitis at Night? Yes, compression socks for Plantar Fasciitis can help to provide some relief while you sleep and for those first few painful steps in the morning.

How many hours a day should you wear plantar fasciitis socks? ›

The Strassburg Sock is designed to be worn at night while sleeping, or during periods of extended rest. For optimum results, the sock should be worn for a minimum of 6 hours per night until the sufferers has 7 pain free mornings.

How many times a day should you ice plantar fasciitis? ›

Hold a cloth-covered ice pack over the area of pain for 15 minutes three or four times a day to help reduce pain and inflammation. Or try rolling a frozen bottle of water under your foot for an ice massage. Stretch your arches. Simple home exercises can stretch your plantar fascia, Achilles tendon and calf muscles.

Should you roll your heel for plantar fasciitis? ›

Another good way to help keep the plantar fascia loose is to roll out along the bottom of the foot. A great way to help loosen up this tissue while simultaneously decreasing pain and inflammation is to roll the bottom of your foot along a frozen water bottle, lacrosse ball, or tennis ball for 5-10 minutes.

Does KT Tape work for plantar fasciitis? ›

If you have plantar fasciitis, your physical therapist may recommend kinesiology tape as part of your treatment plan. Since plantar fasciitis usually develops from excessive strain, taping can reduce the stress on the plantar fascia and hold it in place.

Is CBD good for plantar fasciitis? ›

Yes, CBD oil is definitely good for plantar fasciitis. It reduces inflammation by preventing the release of inflammation causing compounds in the body. Its use in chronic pain, rest pain , muscle spasms ,pain on movement have been studied.

Do calf raises help plantar fasciitis? ›

Calf strengthening, calf stretching, and ankle mobility are all helpful in alleviating symptoms of plantar fascia pain.

Should you run or rest with plantar fasciitis? ›

If your pain is severe, it's best to start by resting from vigorous activities for a few days; however if your plantar fasciitis is mild or moderate, it's possible to safely enjoy running.

Do running shoes help plantar fasciitis? ›

While there aren't plantar fasciitis-specific running shoes, there are some smart features to look for when shopping. Experts recommend choosing sneakers with good arch support, supportive cushioning, shock-absorbing soles, a deep heel cup, and a spacious toe box to keep plantar fasciitis symptoms at bay.

How do you release tight fascia in your foot? ›

Tennis Ball Roll

While seated, grab a tennis ball, rolling pin, frozen water bottle, or other cylindrical object and put it under your foot. Gently roll the object underneath the arch of your foot. Perform this exercise for three to five minutes. You can repeat it two times per day.

Can I tape up my plantar fasciitis while running? ›

Taping is commonly prescribed to treat plantar fasciitis for runners by virtue of its alleged ability to offload the plantar fascia and facilitate positive injury prognosis.

Can you run in compression socks for plantar fasciitis? ›

Yes, as long as it feels comfortable, you can safely wear plantar fasciitis compression socks with custom orthotics.


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