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A Runner's Worst Nightmare ::
Heel Spur / Plantar Fasciitis

Our feet carry all the weight of our bodies.

Heel spur (also known as plantar fasciitis) is the result of stretching and tearing of the tissue along the bottom of the foot (the plantar fascia).

Excessive wear and tear to the plantar fascia of the foot often results in this type of running injury.

It is a common condition among athletes, particularly runners. On this page I will explain what this injury is, how you can treat it, which products you need to use and how you can prevent it.

What is Heel Spur / Plantar Fasciitis ?

plantar fasciitis
Heel spur or plantar fasciitis is a very painful inflammation in the tissue along the bottom of your foot that connects your heel bone to your toes. This condition usually develops gradually, although the pain may come on quite suddenly. Usually only occurring in one foot, the symptoms vary from person to person and include :

  • Sharp pain in the bottom of your heel towards the inside, which feels like you stepped in a large piece of glass or a big needle

  • Pain that is worse first thing in the morning

  • Pain after long periods of standing or when you first stand up after sitting

  • Pain during or after exercise

  • You may also experience swelling of the heel area.

    How do runners get Heel Spur / Plantar Fasciitis ?

    Your plantar fascia works like a shock-absorber and supports the arch in your foot. If tension becomes too much, it causes small tears in the fascia. Repetitive stretching and tearing can cause the fascia to become irritated or inflamed.

    This running injury is very common in runners, whether you do long distance, middle distance or you are a sprinter.
    Especially long hours of training, no warming up or cooling down or a sudden increase in workload can trigger the pain.
    But as an occassional jogger or walker you may also be at risk of placing too much stress on your heel bone and the soft tissue attached to it.

    plantar fasciitis

    How to Treat Heel Spur / Plantar Fasciitis

    Treatment is often a slow process. Treatment includes applying cold compresses, strapping and taping and, of course, and you don't want to hear it, ... rest.

    Anti-inflammatories such as aspirin and ibuprofen can be used to relieve pain and inflammation and studies have shown some benefits from glucosamine.

    Corticosteroid injections give longer relief but a local aesthetic is often required before hand.

    Wearing shoes with good arch support is highly recommended. So avoid sandals, flip flops, etc.

    plantar fasciitis fxt
    Heel Spur Night Splint
    Keeping the foot in a dorsi-flexed position with help of a night splint (see picture) during the night has shown benefits and early morning pain can be reduced by stretching the achilles tendon and calf muscles before rising.

    Surgical treatment is always a last resort as it can lead to complications including ongoing problems with arches and or compression of the cuboid bone.

    Heel Spur Products

    There are some products available which can help in the battle against plantar fasciitis. A good choice is the heel spur kit which offers a few necessary products together at a discount. I'll briefly discuss each of the products.

    plantar fasciitis arch brace
    Heel Spur Brace
    The curved heel spur arch brace makes sure that the tissue along the bottom of the foot gets extra support.

    It lifts the plantar fascia, thereby providing relief from inflammation and pain.

    You can wear them all day long for that much needed relief and cure of heel spur.

    Very easily adjustable with two hooks.

    plantar fasciitis fxt
    Heel Spur Night Splint
    You can speed up the healing process with this soft slim-fitting night splint.

    You can use it overnight to stretch the plantar fascia.

    The Thermoskin keeps the skin warm which helps stretch out the plantar fascia.

    You can adjust the dorsal flexion (amount of tension) to pull back toes toward the ankle.

    plantar fasciitis kit
    Heel Spur Kit
    The heel spur kit combines the night splint, the arch brace and the step stretch.

    The step stretch helps you stretch your foot.

    It relieves many types of foot pain like plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, ankle strain, arch pain and chronic foot conditions.

    htp heel seats
    HTP Heel Seats

    The HTP Heel Seats work to quickly relieve pain by applying acupressure directly beneath the pain hot spots.

    By using the clinically proven healing methods, they not only cure the actual disorders, but also work to prevent any future heel pain like plantar fasciitis.

    The Heel Seats, made from KRATON, are washable and extremely durable for long-term use.

    You can wear them to slow down and even reverse the effects that aging has had on your heels.

    plantar fxt
    HTP Plantar FXT
    You can speed up your healing with HTP Plantar FXT. It pulls the toes back slightly, stretching the plantar fascia so it may heal.

    You can wear it during the day while seated. It comes with a nonslip bottom that will help you prevent slipping.

    htp_gel heel seats
    HTP Gel Heel Seats
    The new HTP Gel Heel Seats are a perfect fit for any sufferer of plantar fasciitis or heel spurs.

    They can reverse your plantar fasciitis, heel spurs and other heel pain disorders; relieving pain, treating your condition and preventing future pain outbreaks.

    Suffering from heel spurs? Then really consider the HTP Gel Heel Seats.

    All of the above are good products. The heel spur kit is a great choice, because it offers three products at a discount and the HTP Gel Heel Seats seem to be very popular.

    How to Prevent Heel Spur / Plantar Fasciitis

    The risk of this running injury can be considerably lessened by ensuring you discard old running shoes before they stop supporting and cushioning your feet.
    Make it a rule to buy new shoes after about 400-600 miles of use.
    Remember, when doing your stretches after running, to pay particular attention to your feet, making sure to stretch your feet, Achilles tendon and calf muscles.

    The risk to a runner�s feet and legs are always higher than those in other sports and heel spur is just another problem to contend with.

    But when you do your stretches and everything else in your running training makes sense, then the chances that you get heel spur can be dramatically reduced.

    Also check out the heel pain page which talks about some more heel injuries.

    Wish to learn more about running training and injuries ?
    Subscribe to the Best Running Tips Newsletter or to my site blog.

    Go from Heel Spur / Plantar Fasciitis Page to Running Injuries Page

    Go from Heel Spur / Plantar Fasciitis Page to Best Running Tips Homepage

    Running Injuries
    Running Injury Prevention
    Foot Injuries: Foot Pain | Black Toenail | Stress Fractures | Posterior Tibial Tendonitis |
    Heel Injuries: Heel Pain | Achilles Tendinitis | Heel Spur / Plantar Fasciitis |
    Knee Injuries: Knee Pain | Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITB) |
    Leg Injuries: Leg / Calf Cramps | Shin Splints | Hamstring Injury | Hip Pain
    Upper Body Injuries: Nipple Chafing | Side Stitch | Back Pain | Chest Pain

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