Can I Run with Plantar Fasciitis?

Ariana Purificati Fune

Plantar fasciitis is a very common injury for runners or anyone who is constantly on their feet. The pain usually starts on the inside of your heel but can spread throughout the foot and potentially become debilitating. 

For those who are dedicated runners, it can be hard to take a day off, even when experiencing pain. 

The short answer is yes, you can run with plantar fasciitis, but there are important factors to consider. In this article, we will walk you through the causes of plantar fasciitis, how you can safely run with this injury, and how to relieve your pain. 

Causes of plantar fasciitis in runners

Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury, caused by degeneration of the plantar fascia at its origin on the heel bone. Through the “Windlass Mechanism”, the plantar fascia raises the foot arch, preventing it from collapsing from weight-bearing and ground-reaction forces. 

The plantar fascia also distributes force throughout the foot to help shock absorption while running, jumping, and other weight-bearing activities. However, many other muscles in the foot help absorb shock, including the tibialis posterior muscle. Weakness in these structures puts all of the stress on the plantar fascia. Poor footwear will contribute to this issue if they are worn down and have a decreased ability to absorb shock.

Running with plantar fasciitis

It is important to consider that your ability to run with plantar fasciitis depends a lot on your pain level. If your pain is severe, above a 6/10, before, during and after running, we recommend that you stop running and seek advice from a physiotherapist or another health professional. 

If your pain is mild to moderate, we advise making a few changes to your running routine.

Start slow: 

Even if you are an experienced runner, it is recommended to reduce your mileage significantly if you are experiencing plantar fasciitis pain. Add bouts of walking into your runs, and slowly increase your mileage as you can tolerate it. 

Take breaks:

Take rest days in between your runs to give your plantar fascia a break, and allow yourself to incorporate some treatment exercises. 

Warm up before you run: 

Bringing blood flow into your lower legs and feet, and activating the muscles used in running, helps prepare you for a run and prevent other injuries. Scrape the lower legs and the bottom of your feet to warm up and reduce stiffness in the important shock-absorbing structures.

The Sidekick app provides dynamic stretching/pre-run activation routines to follow if you’re not sure where to start!

Incorporate a recovery routine:

  • Scraping before and after a run, and on your recovery days, brings blood flow into the area and promotes healing in injured soft tissue

  • Massage the feet to promote blood flow, reduce tension, and relieve pain from plantar fasciitis
  • Stretch the calves and feet to reduce excess stiffness and allow for better shock-absorption

  • Strengthen the muscles in the feet and lower legs so they can better tolerate the forces from weight-bearing activities

Conclusion

Long story short, it can be safe to run with plantar fasciitis, but you there are factors you should consider before doing so. Stop running and consult with a health professional before continuing if your pain is severe. If your pain is mild to moderate, it is important to add warm up and recovery exercises to reduce symptoms.

Muscle scraping is a very effective way to reduce pain from plantar fasciitis. Pick up your Eclipse today and start feeling relief!

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Ariana Purificati Fune

Ariana is a Certified Personal Trainer and holds a BSc in Kinesiology. She has a passion for making fitness inclusive and accessible to everyone.

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