With body parts that have to move countless times per session when running, it’s a miracle that more parts don’t break down. When running, your foot hits the pavement about 1,500 times per mile. You land on your heel and then propel yourself as you shift your weight to the other foot.
The plantar fascia is a fibrous elastic band that runs from the heel to the toes under the sole of the foot, and supports the arch. It reattaches at the toes to maintain the curve of the arch.
The plantar fascia can break down with wear and tear. Plantar Fasciitis, inflamed plantar fascia, usually begins as a mild pain near the arch or heel. Over-pronating, too much foot action from loose fitting running shoes, can either cause or aggravate the condition. The fascia ligaments form small tears where it attaches to the heel bone.
It is most often worst after resting as soon as the tissue is stretched or when becoming active. Left untreated, plantar fasciitis can also aggravate the heel to form a heel spur due to calcium buildup.
The Achilles tendon, a tight tendon that connects the muscles in the calf to the heel bone to assist movement, can put additional tension on the fascia.
Treatment for plantar fascia can sometimes include using ice, and stretching properly. Once you experience pain with plantar fascia, you should consult professional assistance. Continuing to run with undiagnosed pain over a period of time may only loosen the fibers and worsen the condition.