4 Reasons Why Beginner Runners May Develop Plantar Fasciitis

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Running can be a great activity to pick up since it provides several health benefits, such as improved cardiovascular health, increased muscle strength, and decreased stress levels. However, if you are a beginner runner, it may be a good idea to reach out to a podiatrist for a gait analysis and to get fitted with a good pair of shoes.

Your podiatrist can go over common foot issues that runners face and provide tips to help you avoid them. One common issue that runners can be prone to is plantar fasciitis, which causes heel pain from tissue inflammation. Here are four culprits of plantar fasciitis and how to avoid them.  

Ignoring Biomechanical Issues

Some people may naturally have a high arch, flat feet, a tight Achilles tendon, etc. These biomechanical deviations—and others—can affect how much stress is placed on the plantar fascia and could contribute to heel pain. To prevent issues, a podiatrist can fit a person with orthotic inserts. Orthotics can provide additional support to the plantar fascia so that you don't experience heel pain.

Running on the Wrong Surface

Sometimes it's necessary to run on concrete, as sidewalks may be a safer choice on busy roads. However, in general, it's better to run on asphalt since it has better uniformity, and the surface provides more give than concrete. If you like to run on a treadmill, it's a good idea to test the product before you purchase it as some machines have less cushion and rebound, which can stress the plantar fascia.   

Wearing New Shoes Too Quickly

Your shoes may have the right toe boxes, cushions, and orthotic inserts, but they may still cause plantar fasciitis if they aren't broken in. New shoes are usually hard and very stiff or tight in the heel. It's a good idea to walk in new shoes to soften them up before starting a run. Some people may also fill up small, sturdy plastic bags with water to set in their shoes when not in use to speed up the "breaking-in" process.

Neglecting Proper Stretching

Stretching is an incredibly important part of a warm-up and cool-down routine since it reduces the risk of injury and maintains your range of motion. Stretching out the calf muscles and foam rolling the bottom of your foot can relieve plantar fasciitis and reduce heel pain. Ask your podiatrist about proper stretching techniques.

These are just a few issues to watch out for; reach out to a podiatrist in your area today to learn more about heel pain treatment.