5 Tips That Can Help Runners Overcome Heel Pain

Posted on: 6 February 2019


Whether you are working up to running a marathon or simply jogging as a way to keep fit, you might experience heel pain at some point. Heel pain is often a symptom of plantar fasciitis, a condition that is very common in runners. When a runner has plantar fasciitis, the fibrous tissue on the bottom of the arch of the foot is inflamed and irritated. These tips can help to reduce that inflammation and resolve your heel pain.

1. Get Plenty of Rest

When you are working out how to fit long runs, hill sprints and tempo runs into your training schedule, it is easy to forget to include enough rest days. However, rest is essential to allow the damaged tissue in your foot to recover. Take some time off training as soon as you get heel pain to avoid developing a serious injury that could take months to recover from.

2. Stretch Your Calves Daily

Tight calves are a major risk factor for plantar fasciitis. Thankfully, you can loosen your calves by performing a simple stretch every day. All you need to do is place your palms on a wall and then take a large step back with one foot. Straighten your back leg, keeping the heel on the ground, and sink into your front leg. Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds.

3. Stretch Your Feet As Well

Another useful stretch for heel pain involves stretching the plantar fascia directly. Take your foot in your hands and pull the toes backward until you feel a stretch. Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds and repeat a couple of times a day.

4. Replace Your Shoes

Sometimes, heel pain is a sign that your shoes no longer provide the cushioning your feet need. The right pair of shoes can help you to run with ideal form, reducing the risk of developing heel pain. Take a trip to your local running store, where employees can advise you on the best model of shoe for your foot.

5. See a Podiatrist

If your heel pain persists despite supportive footwear, regular stretching, and plenty of rest, you need to see a podiatrist. A podiatrist can let you know exactly what is causing your heel pain. They can then prescribe orthotics or recommend changes to your training schedule that will enable you to enjoy running without making your plantar fasciitis worse.