What Is It? It is disputed what Plantar fasciitis is in terms of whether it is inflammation in the fascia (connective tissue) of the foot or if it is actually calcification and degeneration of the fascia. As the fascia provides stability to the foot it is an extremely painful condition when this tissue becomes compromised.
Symptoms – Commonly a sharp stabbing pain will occur in the arch or heel of the foot when walking. It is generally worse first thing in the morning or after periods of sitting and may ease after a certain amount of movement in less severe cases however in severe cases pain will worsen with use.
Causes – In some cases the exact cause may not be clear and some would argue that it can be a biomechanical issue but it isn’t conclusive as to whether this is the only cause in cases where other factors are not established. It is a condition that occurs often in runners and other athletes and this does suggest that it isn’t simply a biomechanical issue. Commonly factors such as over training, wrong footwear, tight calf muscles, tightness in the Achilles tendon, poor foot strength and pronation are present in those with plantar fasciitis. In terms of treatment the cases with a suspected cause are a little easier to treat however this isn’t always the case.
Massage – Sports and soft tissue injury treatment can help greatly with plantar fasciitis and in the reduction of symptoms and in speeding recovery. It may be used to loosen any tightness in the muscles, to assist in breaking up adhesions in the plantar fascia itself and to improve range of motion in the foot and leg muscles. Taping has also proved successful in supporting and aiding recovery.
Prevention – There are a number of things that can help in the prevention of Plantar Fasciitis. Strengthening and stretching is key to ensuring that the fascia of the foot and supporting muscles are in the best condition that they can be. Equally wearing appropriate footwear for your foot type is essential. If training for a sporting event then taking training at the correct pace will help as going too fast, too far or overloading the muscles and fascia are all big factors in the occurrence of this condition.
How to keep Muscles Healthy when you’re a Runner
While running is a fun form of exercise and somewhat addictive it does place the body under a certain amount of stress. Mechanically the feet can strike the ground up to four times harder than when walking; which explains why the legs can become achy and painful. Sadly many runners will also suffer from an injury at some stage. New runners or those increasing distance or training are particularly at risk as the muscles aren’t used to the exercise or they become overused or tight.
When muscles become tight or overused issues such as Runners Knee, Shin Splints, plantar Fasciitis, Iliotibial Band Syndrome and overuse syndrome may occur. These conditions take time to heal and will require training to either significantly reduce or stop completely.
It is important to look at prevention of these common running problems by implementing a care programme that incorporates strengthening, stretching and massage treatment to maintain healthy, strong and flexible muscles. It is advised that at least one strength and stretching session should be done per week. Tailored circuit training or training such as Active Fenland Running Group with Bodymode are ideal for runners, along with pilates tailored for runners.
Regular massage therapy will ease tension in the muscles and ensure that any issues are found early on and treated before they become an issue. Sports therapy can be used as a preventative or to support new runners as well as those training for an event. This will reduce chances of injury and the occurrence of specific muscular dysfunction.
In cases where there is an injury or overuse issue massage is beneficial in reducing symptoms as it releases muscles; while removing painful trigger points and promoting recovery. In some cases taping may also benefit in supporting the affected muscles.
Finally investing in a foam roller, spikey ball and some magnesium salts will also help with post run recovery and keeping muscles happy and healthy.
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If you would like to more about how massage therapy can support your running please contact me on 07580 435109 or email email@example.com