We see a lot of “listicles” about how to prevent running injuries but they have varying levels of effectiveness. We decided to gather as many recommendations as we could find and gave each one a rating based on it’s effectiveness and practicality.
We’re going to start with plantar fasciitis, but check out the whole series here.
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of tendons and ligaments between your heels and toes. Pain is most commonly experienced along the arch and in the heel itself. It’s caused by standing for long periods of time, high or low arches, old shoes, and footfall techniques when running.
Keep mileage increases to less than 10 percent per week
It’s always a good idea to train incrementally to prevent all manner of injuries. Letting your body adjust to gains will keep you in the game month after month. This one’s a keeper.
Wear the proper shoes for your foot type and gait
Getting the right shoes for running is essential to consistent training. It’s good practice to occasionally check your soles and make sure both feet are getting the right support. You can always compensate with various types of inserts. Plantar fasciitis is commonly caused by shoes that have seen better days.
Run barefoot on grass and trails 2-3 days a week
It’s not always possible to run exclusively on soft surfaces unless you live near a park or a field. If you’re one the few who can, count yourself lucky and spend some time running on terrain we spent millions of years evolving to run on.
Regular arch stretching & massage
Sitting in a chair, brace your left ankle on your right kneeThis simple technique should be practiced first thing in the morning, then repeated three times over the day on both feet.
- Pull your toes back to your shin until you feel a stretch in your arch
- Run your thumb along your foot until you locate the source of tension
- Hold for 10 seconds
- Switch to the other foot and repeat
Stop running during the acute phase of the injury
The typical acute phase for plantar fasciitis lasts 3-7 days. It is essential to recovery to take a break from running for a few days after getting plantar fasciitis.
Ice the injury three times a day
Ice for 20 minutes, leave it be for twenty minutes, then ice it again, three times per day. That’s three hour-long blocks you will have to spend stationary… That’s not exactly convenient! Add to that the fact that for optimal results it’s suggested you dunk your foot in a bucket of ice water and we are feeling seriously put out. That said, you should definitely ice it after injuries.
Rub the afflicted region with an ice cube
This one’s a pretty good tip because it ices the injury and massages it at the same time, and unlike the previous technique, this one covers multiple issues at the same time. We’d love to hear about any reader’s experiences with this one, so leave some feedback in the comments if you try it out.
These things are indispensable for runners. Roll your feet, targeting the regions that make a crunchy sound and feel, as this is scar tissue being broken up. For optimal results, target the soleus and calf muscles as well.
Prevention & Recovery
Compression supports the tendons around the Achilles that, when damaged, lead to Achilles tendonitis. For recovery, nothing gets the job done like an Achilles Protector Sleeve. While they are ideal for compression, a less costly solution than getting two protector sleeves would be a pair of athletic compression socks.
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