How To Fix Runners Heel – All You Need To Know
What is Runners Heel?
Runner’s Heel (or Heel Pain Syndrome) is a common and potentially nagging injury among runners, especially those who are new to running or who have recently ramped up the intensity of their program. It’s typically characterized by a pain or discomfort that’s localized to the heel and radiates outwards. In most cases, this pain is not caused by a single specific injury, but instead is the result of a range of factors—wear and tear, inadequate flexibility, imbalance in pronation and/or rotation, overtraining or a lack of rest, poor running form and/or footwear, etc.
Given that the root cause of this condition can be multi-faceted, a broad treatment plan should be taken when approaching Runner’s Heel. One of the most important steps is to determine what’s contributing to the condition and modify or eliminate the source of the pain. For instance, if an imbalance in pronation and/or rotation is the cause, then a visit to a foot specialist or physical therapist can help to identify an optimal gait and prescribe corrective exercises and/or orthotics to mitigate the ailment. Additionally, if the pain is the result of inadequate flexibility, then introducing or increasing the intensity of your stretching routine can often be effective.
In terms of footwear, the most important factor is to make sure that your running shoes have ample cushioning to protect your heel with every step you take. Additionally, you should opt for slightly more cushioning if you’re running on hard surfaces such as asphalt or concrete.
Finally, make sure to address any imbalances in your gait and running form through the implementation of drills and exercises that promote proper form and posture. Doing so will help you to run more efficiently and reduce stress on your heel.
In sum, Runner’s Heel is a common ailment among runners and can often be mitigated by a comprehensive approach incorporating proper footwear, remedial exercises, and tweaks to your regular running routine and form. If you’re experiencing any discomfort in your heel, be sure to take the appropriate steps to identify the source and make any necessary changes.
What Causes Runners Heel
Runners heel is a condition that typically occurs in runners and other athletes. The condition is characterized by pain in the heel area that is usually caused by tight calf muscles. If not treated promptly, it can lead to more serious issues such as tendonitis or plantar fasciitis. Knowing what causes runners heel can help you take steps to prevent it from happening in the first place, as well as recognize the signs and symptoms when it does.
Overuse: Runners heel is often caused by overuse. When someone engages in running, the muscles, bones and tendons endure repetitive stress that can be too much for their bodies to handle. If they do not give their bodies time to rest and recover, the body may develop an injury such as runners heel.
Biomechanical Imbalance: Weakness or imbalances between opposing muscle groups can also be an underlying cause of runners heel. For example, having weak calf or tight Achilles tendons can put extra strain on the foot and heel area.
Improper Footwear: One of the most common causes of runners heel is ill-fitting or worn down shoes. Poorly crafted shoes or those with inadequate cushioning can lead to inadequate support and cause the heel to absorb extra shock and strain.
Training Regime: If someone is training too hard or increasing the intensity of their workouts too quickly, it can be a major cause of runners heel. When the intensity increases, it causes muscles and tendons to tighten and strain, leading to potential injuries in the foot area.
Runners heel can be an incredibly frustrating injury. However, knowing what causes the condition can help you take steps to prevent it and recognize the symptoms when it does occur. Make sure to wear proper fitting shoes, introduce changes to your training routine slowly, and give your feet adequate rest and recovery time.
How To Fix Runners Heel – 8 Proven Ways
Even if you’re an experienced runner, you can’t always avoid heel pain. Runners heel, or plantar fasciitis, is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs through your foot, connecting your heel bone to your toes.
The good news is that runners heel can be treated quickly and easily with a few simple steps.
1. Rest: First and foremost, you need to rest and avoid running on hard surfaces for a few days. If the pain persists for more than a few days, it’s important to seek professional advice.
2. Ice: At home, you can help reduce any inflammation by using an ice pack to the affected area for 15 minutes every few hours. Do this for several days in a row until the pain subsides.
3. Stretch: Stretching your calf muscles can also help reduce the pain of runners heel. Begin by standing about three feet from a wall and putting your hands against it for support. Placing one foot in front of the other, bend your back knee and keep your front heel on the floor until you feel a stretch in your calf. Hold the position for ten to 20 seconds, then switch legs and repeat.
4. Physical Therapy: Physical therapy can be an effective treatment option for runners heel. A physical therapist can teach you exercises to strengthen your feet and calf muscles, as well as correct any biomechanical imbalances that may be contributing to the pain.
5. Orthotics: Custom orthotics can be prescribed by a podiatrist or physical therapist to support your feet and alleviate pain.
6. Massage: Massaging the affected area can help to reduce pain and inflammation, and improve blood flow.
7. Avoid Running: If the pain is severe, it may be necessary to take a break from running and engage in low-impact exercises such as cycling, swimming, or using an elliptical machine.
8. Gradual Return to Running: Once the pain has subsided, you can begin to gradually return to running. Start with short distances and increase your mileage gradually.
It’s important to note that every individual’s situation is unique, and the best course of action for one person may not be the best for another. It’s always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment for your specific case.
In conclusion, runners heel is a common injury that can be treated through a combination of rest, ice, stretching, arch support, physical therapy, orthotics, massage, and a gradual return to running. If you experience pain in your heel, be sure to take the appropriate steps to reduce the pain and avoid any long-term damage.