Tips for Athletes Who Want to Avoid Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a condition in which the plantar fascia, the tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot, becomes inflamed. 

The condition can affect people who are overweight, people who spend a lot of time on their feet, and athletes who make repetitive movements, such as long-distance running and playing soccer. 

Each year, an estimated 2 million Americans seek medical help due to heel pain caused by an irritated fascia. 

Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury, caused by repetitive strain. For example, someone who trains the same part of their body every day is more likely to experience inflammation. 

We asked our specialists at Bay Area Foot Care, with many convenient locations in and around San Francisco, California, to share a few tips on avoiding plantar fasciitis when training. 

Introduce more rest days or vary your routine 

Because plantar fasciitis is caused by the irritation of the fascia due to overuse, stopping your activities and getting adequate rest are vital to preventing a flare-up.

If you plan to stay active daily, vary your exercises to avoid consecutive training days that work the same muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Training the same body parts day after day not only can cause plantar fasciitis, but also runner’s knee, Achilles tendinitis, and stress fractures. 

Stretch your feet every morning 

You may notice some stiffness in your feet when you wake up. That’s because the fascia is shorter in the morning.

Stretching and massaging your feet before beginning your workouts can warm up and increase the flexibility of your feet. Stretching also improves blood flow, encouraging faster healing.

Look into custom orthotics

Custom orthotics are custom-made inserts designed to fit your foot shape. These inserts may also be customized for certain conditions such as plantar fasciitis, allowing you to put less pressure on the bottom of your feet when working out. 

Studies suggest that orthotics can reduce pain and reduce discomfort without side effects for adults suffering from plantar fasciitis.

Seek medical advice at the first sign of pain and inflammation

Left untreated, plantar fasciitis can lead to complications such as knee, back, and hip pain. 

The pain can expand to other areas of your body. When the fascia is compromised, other muscles and tissues must work harder to compensate. Luckily, you can avoid these complications and live a pain-free life if you catch this issue early. 

To get a customized treatment plan that fits your lifestyle and fitness goals, call the Bay Area Foot Care office nearest you or book your appointment online

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