Help for Jogger's Heel
Running may give you a high, but down low at the soles of your feet, it’s a different story.
“Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot injuries that runners experience,” says Lake Regional Podiatrist Cody Fox, DPM, FACFAS. “It’s so common that it’s also known as ‘jogger’s heel.’ It occurs when the ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes is torn or inflamed.”
What are the Signs?
Plantar fasciitis causes a stabbing pain in the bottom of the heel. The heel pain is not constant. You’ll find it tends to be worse when you take your first steps after getting out of bed; after climbing stairs or standing on your toes; after standing for long periods; and at the beginning of exercise — the pain usually gets better during exercise but returns when exercise is complete.
How Do I Prevent It?
“Wearing shoes with good arch support and heel cushioning is important for the prevention of plantar fasciitis,” Dr. Fox says. “Proper stretching is also important, both for the arch muscles, as well as the calf.”
How Do I Treat It?
Treatments include icing, stretching, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications (such as ibuprofen) and wearing a night splint.
When these treatments don’t bring relief, Dr. Fox offers platelet-rich plasma therapy. This approach involves injecting platelets from your own blood into the injured area. These injections help because platelets contain proteins called growth factors that help with healing.
For severe cases of plantar fasciitis, Dr. Fox also provides surgical treatments.
“Seeking care sooner rather than later improves chances that nonsurgical treatments will bring relief,” Dr. Fox says. “You should not ignore plantar fasciitis because it can cause you to change how you walk, and that can put stress on your feet, knees, hips and back. To avoid complications, always seek treatment for injuries causing chronic pain.”