Even the seasoned runners can experience foot pain after running. Medically, the condition is due to “Plantar Fasciitis” or “Heel Spurs”. Both are side effects of long and intense running and are generally found in sports persons other than runners too.
Plantar Fasciitis is caused due to overuse of feet surface and heels. Bottom surface of the feet is called plantar surface and the ligament there is called plantar fascia. When this ligament get burnt or damaged due to excessive weight over long periods of time or insufficient support of shoes, runners feel pain in the bends of the feet. Actually it happens due to extra pressure over connective tissue which connects the thick fiber layer and heel bones.
A person suffering from plantar fasciitis feels a hot, sharp sensation under the heel. They even notice the pain while standing for the first time in the morning after waking up. After walking around for some time, the pain lessens or even disappears. Again when they take rest the pain returns in same manner.
Heel Spurs is extra deposit or formation of calcium near the heel bone. This is generally caused by excess use of heels during running, heavy sports training, etc. Heel spurs are also formed when heels of a person suffering from plantar fasciitis release calcium to rebuild itself.
A person suffering from heel spurs notices pain as if a pin has been pricked in his skin. The pain increases in normal standing position, especially under the heel area, and reduces while standing on toe.
If you find yourself suffering from any of these symptoms, don’t panic. Here are some tips to handle these injuries.
Water is the most necessary element for you even now. Roll your heels over a frozen water bottle or pop bottle for minimum 10 minutes twice a day. This process will dissolve the extra calcium and repair the tissues fast.
Visit a specialist doctor when you start experiencing foot pain after running or heavy workout. Medicated injections can provide immediate relief. The doctor can also go for Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) to cure the problem using sound waves. If all else fails then surgery is the last option to remove heel spurs and repair the damaged tissue and ligaments.
You can go to a physiotherapist directly or on the advice of your doctor. They prescribe medicines and tell you exercises that will heal your heels and feet.
You should stop all activities like running, workouts, dancing or any other activity that puts excess weight over your feet. Even if you feel better after a couple of days, take rest as prescribed by your doctor or physiotherapist. Resuming activities even partially may further harm your feet.
And yes, these even means not taking that late-evening stroll, so put your best walking shoes away as well.
Use Customized Footwear
Wear the correct size of shoes and check them for comfort before using. Use special accessories like heel cups, insole and custom orthotics.
Never ignore warning signs of foot pain. If you are a runner, you need to take care of your feet the most. So the moment you feel the first pangs, take remedial measures discussed here.