Running is a free, popular choice for a workout. Within 30 minutes of running, you can burn anywhere between 280 and 520 calories. The caloric burn varies based on height, weight, age, and gender. The larger you are, the more energy your body needs and, consequently, the more significant the caloric expense.
But the benefits of running don’t end there. Many runners experience a rise in endorphins, chemicals associated with pain relief and stress reduction. In addition, running decreases your risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cognitive issues as you age. So if you suffer from plantar fasciitis, should you quit running and lose all its benefits?
Plantar fasciitis is the name given to foot pain caused by problems with the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that connects your heel to the ball of your foot. Overuse and strains can damage the fascia, so running can cause or aggravate plantar fasciitis.
The key word is “overuse.” As with many tissues in the body, the lack of use leads to atrophy and poor function, but overuse can cause strains, tears, and the wearing down of tissue.
When you step on the ground, your foot pushes you forward, and your plantar fascia takes on a lot of pressure when this happens. You can avoid overuse by taking breaks, not running every day, and by avoiding running on hard surfaces such as concrete.
Also, consider replacing your running shoes every six months to ensure that your shoe absorbs most of the shock of pressing down on the ground with your foot.
If you suffer from a mild-to-moderate case of plantar fasciitis, you can manage it by making just a few modifications to your running routine, including the following:
Continuing the same running regimen when suffering from plantar fasciitis can lead to tears, which will force you to stop running for a significant period.
Unfortunately, the degree of pain and stiffness alone isn’t a good indicator of the severity of plantar fasciitis. Only with the help of a specialist and an ultrasound can you determine the extent of the damage.
If your fascia has large tears, you may require surgery. In this case, consider looking into other ways to stay active. For example, aqua running, which imitates jogging movements but is performed underwater, is a great way to stay active while taking pressure off of the feet.
Don’t ignore the pain and discomfort in your foot. Plantar fasciitis can be easily managed with a few lifestyle changes, and sometimes with the addition of anti-inflammatories.
However, ignoring fascia pain can lead to large tears and may rob you of the ability to continue running regularly. Contact us to schedule an appointment and find out how you can continue protecting your feet while running.