Whether you are new to running or have several marathons under your belt, heel pain can be a real problem for runners.
There are several conditions that can develop into chronic ailments if you aren’t careful. These can include Achilles tendonitis, Achilles tendinosis, plantar fasciitis, or flexor tendonitis.
Here are some reminders that can help you prevent heel pain:
Running on your toes can lead to dysfunction in the plantar structures of the foot. Repeated stress of your body weight landing on your toes can damage the connective tissue that keeps your metatarsals (foot bones) in place.
If you tend to strike heel-first when running, you could easily cause damage to your Achilles tendon. You are also more prone to landing off balance which can lead to the dreaded “ankle roll” and a few weeks on crutches.
Consider landing mid-foot instead of running on your toes or heel striking.
Stretching will always benefit you, no matter how long or how fast you run. Stretches help warm up your muscles and keeps them flexible. It can definitely help you prevent injuries.
Runners World suggests that stretching not only improves your performance, but dynamic stretches, such as donkey kicks, leg swings and high knees can help improve your range of motion.
Give Yourself a Break
Anytime you start to experience pain during your run, it’s time to STOP. Apply ice to the painful area. Elevate your feet.
There are tons of orthopedic shoe inserts designed for athletes and runners. For best results, custom-made orthotics obtained from a podiatrist or chiropractor will provide you with the best results.
If the pain worsens or does not resolve in a few days, check in with your physician. It is possible to get stress/compression fractures in your feet that are incredibly painful and will need professional evaluation.
Sports Massage for Runners with Heel Pain
An experienced massage therapist can address the source of any muscular pain in your calves and feet. We know how to treat plantar fasciitis and shin splints, and can help repair injuries to your Achilles tendon.