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Avoid plantar fasciitis.

10 Tips to Achieve It.

If you want to avoid plantar fasciitis, first, you must know that it is one of the most common injuries in sports practice, especially in running. It can affect everyone, from amateurs to professionals. Due to its high incidence, it is crucial to know what we can do to prevent and avoid plantar fasciitis. Here are 10 ways to prevent and avoid plantar fasciitis:

1. Strengthen the muscles in your feet

Despite appearances, the foot is filled with muscles, including intrinsic (originating and inserting in the foot) and extrinsic muscles (originating in the leg and inserting in the foot). Like the rest of the body's muscles, the feet should not be an exception. Strengthening them can significantly reduce the incidence of plantar fasciitis in the population. Keep in mind that the intrinsic foot muscles often become atrophied due to being confined in shoes and walking on hard surfaces.

2. Gradually increase your mileage

Many runners tend to accumulate a significant workload over a short period, especially during weekends, due to work commitments and social/family obligations during weekdays. However, overloading the body with too much work in a short time is a sure way to cause injury or strain, and the plantar fascia is no exception. It's better to run 5 km four times a week than to run 20 km with elevation on a single day and do nothing until the next weekend. Adjust your training loads, progressively and consistently increasing the volume of work and kilometres over time.

3. Improve your running technique

Efficient running technique helps optimize performance and minimize the risk of injuries. It's not just about accumulating miles but doing so in the best possible way focusing on quality over quantity. Running technique depends on factors such as an individual's constitution, years of training, muscle strength, etc., but it is something that can and should be trained.

4. Analyse your biomechanics to prevent plantar fasciitis

A biomechanical analysis of walking and running conducted by a sports podiatrist is almost mandatory, like a stress test. To understand if everything is functioning well or if there are overloads or discomforts, it's crucial to analyse how our body is working. This analysis quantifies various parameters, such as body symmetry, centre of gravity shifts, pronation or supination, running technique, type of shoes used, foot-ground contact time, etc. Once analysed, it allows for designing a strategy to improve weaker aspects and enhance strengths.

5. Choose the best shoe for you

Not everyone should run barefoot, and not everyone needs ultra-cushioned shoes. What is the ideal shoe for me? When buying running shoes, various questions arise, such as: what drop is most suitable for me? How much cushioning do I need? The ideal shoe for me may not coincide with Killian Jornet's, as he has specific characteristics that you may not share. Before deciding on a type of shoe, consider factors like your weight, the terrain of your activity, weekly mileage, training and running paces, foot pronation type, and personal preferences. Once armed with this information, seek guidance from a specialized store to choose the best model for you.

6. Stretch the posterior muscle chain to avoid plantar fasciitis

The posterior muscle chain includes the muscles of the sole of the foot, Achilles tendon, calf muscles, hamstrings, glutes, and back muscles, which are essential for bipedal movement. Prolonged tension in this muscle chain can lead to plantar fasciitis, making it crucial to keep these muscles as relaxed as possible.

7. Regularly visit your physiotherapist

While stretching can help relax tension in the sole of the foot in the early stages, when things get complicated, and pain increases or appears, a physiotherapist should be your ally. There is a lot of intrusiveness (unfair competition) in this field, and it's not worth risking your health for a few extra euros. Look for a certified physiotherapist who provides the highest level of security and trust.

8. If you're a woman, take care of your daily footwear

Prolonged use of high-heeled shoes in women predisposes to tension in the posterior muscle chain, increasing the risk of plantar fasciitis. The heel should not exceed 3 cm, have the maximum possible base, and the rest of the shoe should respect the morphology and functionality of the foot.

9. Plan your workloads

To avoid surprises, such as developing plantar fasciitis, it's ideal to plan your loads with a personal trainer. They can help you schedule your workouts based on your goals, progressing from less to more to give your muscles time to adapt to the workload.

10. Act at the slightest discomfort to avoid plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis has different phases of pain. In the initial stages, pain may be occasional, for example, in the morning upon waking, and then disappear. In later phases, it can be a constant but non-limiting pain. In very advanced stages, it becomes incapacitating, making it impossible to support the foot, and the plantar fascia can even rupture.

Therefore, consult a professional at the slightest discomfort and don't wait for it to magically disappear.

Improve your running technique to optimize performance.